European Parliament
the democratic assembly of the European Union. Each of the constituent European Communities had an assembly that provided some form of democratic presence. The Assembly, by its own authority, called itself the Parliament in 1962. The Single European Act (SEA) regularised the practice. Nonetheless, this institution does not yet have the powers that are normally associated with parliaments. Members are elected and are known as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Originally sent by the member states, since June 1979 representatives have been directly elected. They are elected by proportional representation, and the term is for five years. The Parliament exercises an advisory and supervisory role. It has some influence as a result of the Budgetary Treaty of 1970, and the Single European Act has given it added influence by extending the
cooperation procedure. The Commission of the European Union must reply to members' questions, and the Council of the European Union has agreed to do so also. An elephant gun of control, existing in the power to pass a motion of censure on the Commission that, if passed, would force the Commission to resign, has been used once and improves the Parliament's influence over this body. Such a motion can be passed only after substantial procedural hurdles have been cleared. Parliament's budgetary powers allow it to modify obligatory expenditure under the Treaty and allow it to amend non-obligatory expenditure within a maximum set by the Commission. It must adopt the budget, and in 1979 exercised its power to reject it for important reasons, acting by a majority of members and two-thirds of the votes cast. Since the Inter-institutional agreement of 1 July 1988, arrangements have been made to prevent the disruption that such action can have on Community finances. Along with the Court of Auditors, the Parliament supervises the implementation of the budget. The Parliament has standing to institute action in the Court of Justice of the European Communities against the Commission or the Council.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.


European Parliament
European Parliament (EP)
The directly elected assembly of the European Community (EC). It has limited legislative competence: it has the right of scrutiny and supervision of EC executives, and participates in the legislative and budgetary processes. The European Parliament is made up of 626 MEPs from the European Union (EU). These politicians are directly elected by the peoples of Europe in elections held every five years. MEPs represent their local constituencies in the EU.
For further information, see the Europa website: .
Related links
+ European Union
The European Parliament (EP) is the only supranational institution whose members are democratically elected by direct universal suffrage. It represents the people of the member states. EP, which is elected every five years, is involved in drafting numerous laws (directives, regulations etc.) that affect the daily life of every citizen (co-legislator).
The Lisbon Treaty makes EP a stronger lawmaker by bringing over 40 new fields within the co-decision procedure (now called ordinary legislative procedure), under which EP has equal rights with the Council of the European Union. These areas include agriculture, energy security, immigration, justice and home affairs, health and structural funds.
MEPs will also have to give their consent to a whole range of international agreements negotiated by the Union, in areas such as international trade.
For further information, see:
• Practice note, The European Union after the Treaty of Lisbon.
• PLC EU, EU Toolkit: EU institutions.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

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