European elections: what they are and how they work
Every five years EU citizens choose who represents them in the European Parliament, the directly-elected institution that defends their interests in the EU decision-making process. Find out how the European elections work, how the European Parliament works, previous election results and more. The next European elections will take place on 6-9 June 2024.
The European Parliament is the only directly elected EU institution and enjoys rights as co-legislator on most areas of EU activity. Members of the European Parliament are elected every five years to represent the interests of citizens in all EU Member States. The European Parliament currently has 705 members (MEPs). This number will increase to 720 members for the next legislative term, with the 15 additional seats divided between 12 countries.
Together with representatives of the governments of EU countries, MEPs shape and decide on new laws that influence all aspects of lives across the European Union, from supporting the economy and the fight against poverty to climate change and security.
MEPs put important political, economic and social topics in the spotlight and uphold the values of the European Union: respect for human rights, freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law.
Parliament approves the EU budget and scrutinises how the money is spent. It also elects the President of the European Commission, appoints its Commissioners and holds them to account.
Find out more about European elections here