European Union holds elections to choose new 751 MEPs

© European Union 2014 - European Parliament

© European Union 2014 – European Parliament

The European Parliament elections start on Thursday (22 May), with the first votes coming from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Until next Sunday (25 May), voters of all 28 Member States of the European Union will elect 751 new europarliamentarians for the legislature 2014-2019.

For the first time, the European Parliament will also have the final say on who the next president of the Commission will be, on a proposal from the European Council. The European Parliament will vote for the President of the Commission during a plenary vote in July.

Dutch and British voters will be the first to cast their vote on 22 May. The Irish will have their chance a day later on 23 May. The Portuguese, for example, will choose their MEPs on Sunday, May 25, 2014.

Between 2009 and 2014, the European Parliament has enjoyed greater power than ever before. For the first time it could decide on the full EU budget, as well as on big international trade agreements and nearly all EU legislation, on an equal footing with national governments represented in the EU Council.

Over the past five years the EU has faced various challenges, including the world-wide financial crisis. The EU also welcomed Croatia as its latest member state in 2013, increasing the number of MEPs from 754 to 766.

Source: European Parliament