The European Parliament
The European Parliament (EP): This is the only directly elected EU institution, meaning that citizens can vote their members. Along this guide you will have specific information about what the EP does and how it is organized but in a glimpse the EP is composed by 751 europarliamentarians (MEPs) that are organized according with their political ideology in different European Political Groups (so far there is no European Parties). The biggest groups nowadays are the European Peoples Party and the Party of European Socialist. You can have a look how the Parliament looks now.
Every country has a number of members in the Parliament according with the population criteria (check it here! http://www.europarl.europa.eu:80/meps/en/map.html). Those members are elected every five years in the European Elections.
WHAT DOES THE PARLIAMENT DO?
Inside its functions, the Parliament focus on debating and passing the EU laws, together with the Council. In addition, its functions include the scrutiny of the other EU institutions so it is ensure that they work democratically. It also has a determinant role in the approval of the EU budget that can´t go further without the Parliament saying “yes” to it.
Want to know more? Just keep reading this guide and you can also check http://www.europarl.europa.eu/portal/en