EU - European Union

The European Parliament (EP), elected every five years by direct universal suffrage, is the expression of the democratic will of the Union's 374 million citizens. Brought together within pan-European political groups, the major political parties operating in the Member States are represented therein.

The EP has three essential functions: it shares with the Council the power to legislate, i.e. to adopt European laws (Directives, Regulations, Decisions), its involvement in the legislative process helping to guarantee the democratic legitimacy of the texts adopted; it shares budgetary authority with the Council, and can therefore influence EU spending, adopting the budget in its entirety at the end of the procedure; it exercises democratic supervision over the Commission, approves the nomination of Commissioners and has the right to censure the Commission. It also exercises political supervision over all the institutions.

The MEPs are divided in 17 parliamentary committees to prepare for the plenary sessions of the EP. The communications sector is addressed in the Parliamentary Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy.

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