The European Union and MEPs

European Union (EU)

England is part of the United Kingdom (UK), and the UK is part of a large group of countries called the European Union (EU).

The EU is a group of 28 countries who have joined together to form one big group. This group decides together which policies, laws and rules will be used by all the countries that join the EU.

Policies and laws can be about things like human rights, the environment, farming, fishing and trade.

European Parliament

The European Parliament was set up to help run this group. They work and meet in Strasbourg, which is in France and also in Brussels, which is in Belgium.

The European Parliament votes on policies and laws with 2 other groups of people, called the Council of the European Union and the European Commission.

MEPs

Each country in the EU sends a number of politicians to meet and work in Brussels and Strasbourg, and these politicians are called Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

The European Parliament has a President who is voted in by all the MEPs.

There are elections to choose MEPs every five years and there are about 750 MEPs in total.

England has about 60 MEPs. Scotland has 6 MEPs. Wales has 4 MEPs and Northern Ireland has 3.

MEPs have a similar job to MPs which is to represent the people in the area they were elected to work in. They work in groups called committees, to help make decisions about rules and policies.

These policies can be about things like security, farming, trade, travel, fishing, the environment and working.

MEPs have to do a lot of travelling in their job because they spend a lot of time in another country. You can still contact them. They will respond to letters and emails and you can arrange to meet them.

Find out more

You can find out who your MEP is by going to www.europarl.org.uk.

Phone

You can phone the UK Office of the European Parliament on 020 7227 4300.

Back to top