County Waterford, Ireland
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The European Parliament
Elected every five years, the 1992 Maastricht Treaty and the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty, have transformed the European Parliament from a purely consultative assembly into a legislative parliament, exercising powers similar to those of the national parliaments.
The European Parliament is the only EU institution that meets and deliberates in public. The debates, opinions and resolutions are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
The MEP's for Munster are - Brian Crowley, Sean Kelly and Phil Prendergast
How do you become a Member of the European Parliament ?M.E.P's are elected by direct vote under a system of proportional representation, either on a regional basis, as for example in Italy, the United Kingdom and Belgium, or on a national basis, as in France, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg and others, or under a mixed system (Germany).
Common democratic rules apply everywhere, especially the right to vote at the age of 18, equality between men and women and a secret ballot. In some Member States, such as Belgium, Luxembourg and Greece, voting is compulsory.
Since the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993, any citizen of a Member State of the European Union who lives in another State of the Union may vote or stand for election in his or her country of residence.
What do they earn?M.E.P's receive the same parliamentary allowance as members of their national parliament. This allowance is paid by each Member State and is topped up by the European Parliament with an amount to cover the costs incurred by MEPs in the performance of their duties and the recruitment of assistants. These allowances may be cut if Members do not take part regularly in the work of the plenary sittings.
At Parliament's request, provision has been made in the Amsterdam Treaty for a common statute for all Members of the European Parliament. This statute should be adopted shortly and will remove the disparities in salary between Members of different nationalities and ensure greater transparency.
What do they do?M.E.P's meet in plenary sitting for one week a month in Strasbourg where the European Parliament has its seat.
The parliamentary committees generally meet for the second week in each month in Brussels, for ease of contact with the Commission and Council. The third week is set aside for meetings of the political groups and the fourth for the plenary sitting in Strasbourg. Parliament also holds additional plenary sittings in Brussels. The secretariat is located in Luxembourg. Although its seat is in Strasbourg, the European Parliament, for historical reasons, has three places of work. The three Communities the EU grew out of, were not set up at the same time, nor located in the same place.
Parliament's work is generally organised on the following lines:
This is the procedure for the adoption of legislation, which may require two readings.
As well as adopting legislative proposals and the budget, Members of the European Parliament also scrutinise the work of the Commission and the Council by putting oral questions or questions on topical issues to Members of the Commission and Council in the plenary sittings.
European Election Results 2009The Election result for the South Constituency, of which County Waterford is a part, can be viewed here.
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