Glossary

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Member of the European Parliament

A member of the European Parliament (MEP) is an elected representative. Every five years, members of the European Parliament are elected by direct universal suffrage in proportional representation. Once elected, they carry out their mandate independently and they cannot be bound by instructions or an imperative mandate.

For the period 2009-2014, the European Parliament is made up of 736 MEPs from the 27 Member States. From 2014, the Lisbon Treaty has provided for the number of MEPs to be raised to 751.

The number of MEPs representing each Member State varies according to the size of the population; each country has a fixed number of seats. Germany has the most with 99 while the little island of Malta has only five representatives in Strasbourg.

MEPs do not sit with their national delegation but rather according to their political ideologies in transnational political groups.

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