EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – IR)

News-CRUX-10     4th June 2024        
Samadhaan

Context: Around 373 million citizens across the 27 member states of the European Union are eligible to vote in elections to the European Parliament, which is the only directly elected body of the EU.


European Parliament

  • About: It represents the citizens of its member states. 
  • Function: Its primary functions include negotiating EU laws with the member state governments, which are represented by the European Council.
  • Approval of the EU Budget: The European Parliament approves the EU budget.
  • Appointment of the European Commission: The EP has the power to approve or reject the appointment of the European Commission president and the commissioners.
  • Legislative Limitations: Unlike national parliaments, the EP does not have the right to propose laws but can only negotiate those proposed by the executive European Commission.
  • Composition and Elections: The EP comprises 720 Members (MEPs) elected every five years. The MEPs elect their president for a term of two and a half years.
  • Criteria of Voting

oVoting Age: In 21 member states, people aged 18 and above can vote. In Belgium, Germany, Austria, and Malta, the minimum voting age is 16. In Greece, people who turn 17 during the election year can vote, and in Hungary, married individuals can vote regardless of age.

  • Voting Options for Citizens Abroad: Citizens living in another EU country can choose to vote for candidates either from their country of origin or from their country of residence.

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