Written by Conall Devaney
Every month, ahead of the European Parliament’s plenary sessions in Strasbourg, we publish a set of ‘At a glance’ notes, one-page round-ups covering many of the key issues that will be up for discussion when MEPs come together in the Alsatian capital. The aim is to provide Members with a set of concise documents, giving them essential information on the agenda for the forthcoming session.
In total there are 751 MEPs in the European Parliament. All of these members have areas of expertise, usually reflected in the committees in which they sit which can cover anything from economic and monetary affairs to the culture and education. Whereas most MEPs build up expertise in their particular committee’s field, this is obviously not necessarily the case when it comes to the much broader range of issues on which they may need to vote in plenary.
This is where our plenary notes come in. The aim is to ensure that all MEPs can access information on the issues to be discussed and voted on in the upcoming session. Our documents often provide links to additional recent EPRS documents, including longer briefings and in-depth analyses, enabling those Members who so wish to dig deeper and gain an insight into the relevant topic and the EP’s work in the area. In so doing we provide a vital service for all MEPs with well researched, objective analysis on the most important issues to be debated.
Our plenary notes are published ahead of plenary sessions in Strasbourg, and e-mailed to all Members. Many of them are also translated into several additional languages. They are by no means intended exclusively for MEPs but also provide the public with a clear overview of what’s going on in Strasbourg which is crucial for the Parliament as it reaches out more to citizens.
The readership of our plenary notes is growing with every session. In 2014, we have seen consistent increases in views online, even though the legislative cycle is yet to crank up in the new term. In 2015, we’ve already got plans to improve them still further, to ensure Members get an ever-improving support for their decisions in plenary.