The EP now has 751 MEPs, a reduction from the previous Parliament (2009-14), in which there were 766 MEPs (754 plus 12 for Croatia, which joined in 2013).
MEPs are elected under national electoral systems, but these have to observe certain common principles established in EU law, notably proportional representation. As a general rule, voters can choose between political parties, individual candidates or both. Whilst in some Member States, voters can only vote for a list, with no possibility of changing the order of candidates (closed list), in others voters can express their preference for one or more of the candidates (preferential voting). Instead of a list system, some Member States achieve the latter possibility of preferential voting by using the single transferable vote (STV).