The Members of the European Parliament

At present the European Parliament comprises 705 MEPs elected in 27 EU Member States. As the distribution of the number of MEPs by country is not laid down in the Treaties, a decision on this matter must be taken before each election by the European Council on a proposal from Parliament.

For the 2024-2029 term, the number of MEPs has been set at 720, i.e. 15 more than for 2019-2024 (post Brexit).

-> European Council decision of September 2023 


Distribution of seats per country

Member StatesComposition of parliament for the legislature 2024-2029Composition of parliament for the legislature 2019-2024Composition of parliament for the legislature 2014-2019Composition of parliament for the legislature 2009-2014
Czech Republic21212122
Source: European Parliament
Data assembled and put together by the Robert Schuman Foundation, © FRS

How and where does an MEP work?

Parliament meets in plenary session 12 times per year in Strasbourg over four days (Monday to Thursday). Six times a year it also meets in Brussels for two days (Wednesday and Thursday). The session comprises daily meetings.

Parliamentary work in the parliamentary committees is undertaken in Brussels.


The Debates in Strasbourg

Parliament meets in plenary session 12 times a year in Strasbourg.

An MEP can speak in his capacity as “rapporteur” of the Committee of which he is a member, or on behalf of his political group or personally.

The Parliament’s annual calendar includes 12 plenary sessions which take place over four days in Strasbourg. Since MEPs do not sit in August two sessions are organised during another month.


Work in Brussels

Apart from the 12 annual plenary sessions there are six mini-sessions per year which last two days and which take place in Brussels. MEPs look into draft directives and regulations put forward by the European Commission.

The parliamentary committees meet in Brussels two weeks per month.


The Work undertaken in the Political Groups in Brussels

There are 7 political groups in the present Parliament. Every MEP is affiliated to a group. Otherwise he sits with the “non-attached Members” who do not belong to any particular group (there are 49 in the European Parliament in 2023).

The MEP participates in meetings organised by the political group to which he belongs. This is where the positions are decided upon and which will then be defended firstly in the Committee and then in plenary session.

These meetings take place once a week.


How many MEPs are elected per Member State?

The Principle of Degressive Proportionality

In the wake of the European Union’s successive enlargements, the number of MEPs has constantly increased proportionally to the size of the population of the new member countries – this is why for example there are more German and French MEPs than there are from Luxembourg and Malta.

However to reduce the differences in representation between the “big” and “small” countries European parliamentarians do not represent the same number of voters depending on the member country in which they were elected. For example although an MEP represents on average around 679,000 inhabitants, Europeans living in the “small” countries are however over represented: there is one MEP for 82,500 inhabitants in Malta in comparison with one MEP for nearly 829,000 inhabitants in Germany. The greater a country’s population, the less it is represented from a proportional point of view.