Written by Etienne Bassot,
Has the European Union made a difference to your life? If you are an EU citizen, the answer is certainly ‘yes’. The European Union is constantly working to improve the lives of European citizens. More than 500 million people in the EU Member States see their work, study, leisure and family lives benefiting in many ways, large or small, from the policies and legislation of the European Union.
The European Parliament makes an essential, and often decisive, contribution to shaping those laws and policies. Parliament’s 751 Members represent each and every European citizen, ensuring that decisions which affect them are taken not by unknown officials but by the democratically elected representatives of the citizens of all Member States. Members of the European Parliament continue today to focus on closing any gap between their constituents’ expectations and what the EU delivers.
The ideals behind the European Union: human dignity and human rights; freedom and democracy; and respect for the rule of law; underpin all its actions, and with these values firmly in mind the European Parliament makes, debates, revises or rejects, EU laws and policies. Parliament works with Council and Commission to seek consensus between all Member States on the best way to ensure all citizens enjoy the protection of their rights and the opportunity to live their lives in freedom and prosperity.
On 6 May 2017, the European Parliament is holding its annual Open Days, giving European citizens the opportunity to visit their Parliament to see what it does and how it works. A second Open Days event is planned in Strasbourg on 14 May 2017. If you are unable to travel to Brussels or Strasbourg, why not take a look at our briefing notes? These give a small sample of the many areas in which EU action has helped to improve – and continues to benefit – the lives of men and women, young and old across the European Union.