Now that we know the UK will participate in the European Parliamentary elections on 23rd May it is a good time to reflect on the powers and procedures of the Parliament. MEPs perform a central role, ensuring the democratic legitimacy of the European Union. We have published this article to help UK citizens why it is important to vote in the forthcoming elections. Historically turnout has been low, around 50%. The European Union is seeking to reverse this trend and achieve the maximum turnout through its #thistimeimvoting campaign.
The European treaties have given Parliament a broad range of powers as the EU’s directly-elected body. Together with the representatives of EU governments in the Council, Parliament is responsible for adopting EU legislation. Under the ordinary legislative procedure, both institutions act as equal co-legislators. In some special cases, other procedures may apply.
Parliament and Council have to agree on the annual EU budget. Find out about the procedure.
The Lisbon treaty, which came in force in late 2009, brought new law-making powers to the European Parliament and put it on an equal footing with the Council of Ministers in deciding what the EU does and how money is spent. It also changed the way the Parliament works with other institutions and gave MEPs more influence on who runs the EU. All these reforms ensured that by casting your vote in the European elections, you get to have an even greater say on where Europe is heading.
Learn more by following the link and find out how the procedures work.