What’s the European Parliament?

Plenary© European Union 2013 EP

  1. Powers and procedure

The European Parliament has been steadily gaining power over recent decades and now acts as a co-legislator for nearly all EU law. Together with the Council, the Parliament adopts or amends proposals from the Commission. Parliament also supervises the work of the Commission and adopts the European Union’s budget. See how it all works here.

Beyond these official powers the Parliament also works closely with national parliaments of EU countries. Regular joint parliamentary assemblies allow for a better inclusion of national perspectives into the Parliament’s deliberations

2. Supervasory powers

The European Parliament has a range of supervisory and control powers. These allow it to exercise oversight over other institutions, to monitor the proper use of the EU budget and to ensure the correct implementation of EU law.

The President of the European Parliament has the right to speak at the start of each European Council, setting out Parliament’s position on the subjects to be addressed by the heads of state and government.

After each summit the President of the European Council presents a report to Parliament on the outcome.

3. Budgetary procedure

Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament now shares the power to decide on the entire annual budget of the EU with the Council of the European Union and it has the final say.

Parliament and Council decisions about annual expenditure and revenue must fall within the annual spending limits laid down in the EU’s long-term financial plan, the Multiannual Financial Framework, negotiated once every seven years.

Once the EU budget is adopted, the European Commission is responsible for its implementation (other institutions are in charge of their own administrative budgets).

As a directly-elected institution representing EU taxpayers, the European Parliament exercises democratic oversight to make sure that the Commission and the other institutions deal properly with European funds.

The Parliament, on a recommendation from the Council of the European Union, decides whether to grant the discharge, i.e. final approval of how the budget for a specific year has been implemented.


Source: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/aboutparliament