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The European Parliament is the only supranational institution whose members are democratically elected by direct universal suffrage. It represents the people of the Member States. The European Parliament is elected every five years, and is involved in drafting numerous laws (directives, regulations etc.) that affect the daily life of every citizen.
The European Parliament has three places of work – Brussels (Belgium), Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) and Strasbourg (France). Luxembourg City is home to the administrative offices (the "General Secretariat"). Meetings of the whole Parliament ("plenary sessions") take place in Strasbourg and in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels.
The European Parliament was established in 1957 and was originally called the Assembly of the European Communities. Initially, members were appointed by the parliaments of the EU member states. Since 1979, parliament has been elected by the people. Elections are held every 5 years. The deputies of the European Parliament are divided into political factions, which are all-European party associations. The European Parliament independently elects a Chairperson for a term of 2.5 years. Martin Schulz was elected chairman of the 8th European Parliament for the first half of the term of the legislature. From January 17, 2017 until the end of the legislature of the 8th convocation of the European Parliament, this post will be occupied by Antonio Tajani.
The European Parliament is one of the seven institutions of the European Union. In accordance with the Treaty on European Union “citizens are directly represented at Union level in the European Parliament”. Since the founding of the parliament in 1952 as the General Assembly of the ECSC, its powers have continuously expanded, especially as a result of the Maastricht Treaty in 1992 and, most recently, the Treaty of Nice in 2001. Nevertheless, the competence of the European Parliament is still narrower than that of the national legislative bodies of the majority of states.
The European Parliament meets in Strasbourg, other places are Brussels and Luxembourg. Currently, 8 factions are represented in parliament, as well as a number of non-aligned members. In their home states, parliamentarians are members of about 160 different parties and associations.
Detailed C4d Bruxelles European Parliament 3D model of London City Hall
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