Welcome to the European Parliamentary Yearbook Online

Whilst it is common for the media to cite examples of discontented EU citizens calling for referenda on the role of the European Parliament (EP), the fact remains that the EU Parliament is the only directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union. 788 representatives at the European Parliament currently represent almost 492 million European citizens in 27 countries.

Although the role of parliament has become central to debates about EU reform and further integration, the EP is slowly evolving as a legislature in the traditional meaning of the word. It has three main powers, powers that are shared with the Council of the European Union — the power to legislate, budgetary power and the power of democratic supervision — and it is this, the influence of the EP, that the European Parliamentary Yearbook is designed to cover.

I trust that you will find much of interest within this edition and I thank all those who have contributed to the contents.