EU Parliamentary elections
The European Parliamentary Elections are held to elect representatives to the European Parliament. For these elections, the country is split up into regions and each region elects a certain number of representatives.
Waveney falls within the Eastern Region for the European Parliament and this region has seven representatives in total.
These representatives, called Members of European Parliament (MEPs), represent our views on decisions made in the European Parliament. They do this by listening to people with local and national concerns, and talking to interest groups and businesses. Where necessary, they question and lobby the Commission and the Council of Ministers.
MEPs pass laws that affect many aspects of our lives, for example:
- how many hours employees throughout the EU can be required to work and how much rest and holiday they must be given
- which pesticides are safe to use on the food grown in the EU
- how much mobile phone calls cost you when you visit another EU country
- how to use and label genetically modified organisms
- making children's toys safe
- the safety of thousands of chemicals used in everyday manufactured goods, such as TVs and sofas
- cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink and swim in
- getting health care in another EU country either on holiday or when the queue is too long in your own country
- making it easier to study at university in another EU country
MEPs also have an important role to play on the big issues of our times such as climate change, human rights in the world and the way in which we regulate our financial markets.
MEPs have the power to approve, amend or reject nearly all EU legislation. They hold the European Commission to account and can force it to resign. The European Parliament also decides on the EU budget and influences how EU money is spent.
Who are my MEPs & when are the next EU Parliamentary Elections?
There are seven MEPs representing the Eastern Region and European Parliamentary Elections occur every five years. The next European Parliamentary Elections will be held in 2014 and these elections are usually held at the beginning of June.