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Just as you elect local councillors to look after your local community and your Westminster MP to represent you nationally, you elect MEPs to represent you in Europe. The European Parliament is the only directly elected international parliament in the world; MEPs are elected regionally.

EU citizens are free to study, work and live anywhere in the European Union. These freedoms are not automatic. They have been introduced by laws made at European level.

For more than half a century the countries of the European Union have been living together in peace. There are now more than 490 million people in 28 member states living in an area of stability, security and prosperity. Through a process of co-operation, the biggest single market in the world is being created, giving consumers a wider choice, cheaper goods and rights which can be enforced anywhere in the EU. Many problems such as environmental pollution and terrorism do not stop at national borders. The EU is about working together to find effective solutions.

MEPs vote on European legislation, just as MPs in the House of Commons vote on national legislation. European legislation is binding across the whole of the European Union. European laws are made by your MEPs and your government ministers acting in the Council of Ministers.

The EU can only make laws in areas permitted by the treaties that govern it. It has no role, for example, in housing, the organisation of schools and colleges, the NHS, the armed services and national taxes. But there are areas in which European legislation is paramount, for example in consumer protection, environmental standards, competition policy, safety standards and social rights.

MEPs divide their time between their work in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg and their constituencies. Theresa will be working in Brussels or Strasbourg from Monday to Thursday, and then back in the constituency on Friday and through the weekend.

The European Parliamentary Labour Party brings together Britain’s Labour MEPs as Labour’s voice in Europe. From responding to the eurozone crisis to working for a fairer society, from fighting crime, to tackling climate change and extending your rights, Labour MEPs deliver for Britain.

Labour MEPs have put jobs, growth and economic stability at the heart of our work in the European Union. They believe Britain is better off in Europe and have led on these areas to make the EU work better for Britain.

The EPLP is an integral part of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament. Labour’s MEPs are your voice in Europe, working to advance democracy, social justice, prosperity, peace and sustainable development, in the UK, EU and throughout the world.

MEPs, as individuals and working in their political groups, can have a real impact on the drafting and amendment of European legislation.

 

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