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Word Count: 591
The EU Parliament INTRO The worlds most far reaching experiment in trans-national democracy Its very existence is controversial some politicians have opposed its creation and evolution Elected for the first time in 1979 is still very young parliament but has developed its role and powers since that time At the beginning it was only a consulting body but since Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties it has transformed into real legislative parliament Now it is similar to national parliaments It has 626 members in seven political groups and they are elected every five years 30 of them are woman It meets and debates in public POWERS The fundamental powers of EU Parliament are legislative power budgetary power supervisory power Its political role is still growing - DEVELOPMENT Commission gt Parliament gt Commission gt Council Legislative power The normal legislative procedure is co decision This procedure puts the European Parliament and the Council on an equal footing and together they adopt legislation proposed by the Commission Parliament has to give its final agreement Co decision - a legislative procedure introduced by the Maastricht Treaty which places the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers on an equal footing in the adoption of Community legislation Although co decision is the standard procedure there are important areas in which Parliament simply gives an opinion these include taxation and the annual farm price review Budgetary power The European Parliament and the Council are the two arms of the budgetary authority In other words they share the power of the purse just as they share legislative power The preliminary work on Parliaments decision-making in this area is done by its Committee on Budgets in cooperation with the other standing committees By exercising its budgetary power the European Parliament expresses its political priorities It establishes the budget for the following year each December The budget does not come into force
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