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  • The European Parliament (abbreviated as Europarl or the EP) is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union (EU). Together with the Council of the European Union (the Council), it forms the bicameral legislative branch of the EU and has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world. The Parliament and Council form the highest legislative body within the EU. The Parliament is composed of 736 MEPs (Member of the European Parliament), who serve the second largest democratic electorate in the world (after India) and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world (375 million eligible voters in 2009). It has been directly elected every five years by universal suffrage since 1979. Although the European Parliament has legislative power that such bodies as those above do not possess, it does not have legislative initiative, as most national EU parliaments do (however, it does have it in a de facto capacity - see Powers and...
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  • European Parliament
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