Is the European Union a state? Why does he need parliament?
No, the EU is not a state, but a regional association, currently consisting of 28 independent countries. The General Assembly, a prototype of the European Parliament, created in the 1950s, included delegates from the legislative bodies of the participating countries. It was created to balance the influence of executive power on union policies. Even then, the idea spread that integration should eventually lead to the creation of a single European state, therefore parliament must be elected by universal suffrage. In 1979, after years of discussions on the electoral system, the first general elections were held.
But so far, the European Parliament is quite different from the legislative bodies of national states, including those belonging to the European Union itself. First of all, because the present state of the EU has not yet become. Therefore, the Parliament is limited not only by the executive and judicial branches of government, but, first of all, by national sovereignties.
Not a single law for which the European Parliament votes is enacted without the approval of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. It includes one minister from the 28 member countries of the Union, but not on a permanent basis - depending on what issue is on the agenda, it is decided who will take part in the meeting. This body is often compared to the upper chambers of ordinary parliaments. But if their veto, as a rule, can be overcome, the law rejected by the EU Council is not adopted.
What power does the European Parliament have?
In most European countries, a parliamentary majority forms the government. Another difference of the European Parliament is that it does not form the government and is content with only limited influence on the executive branch. Deputies of the European Parliament elects the chairman of the European Commission - the executive body of the EU - but they do this not on their own initiative, but on the proposal of another body - the European Council, which includes the heads of state and government of the EU countries. The President of the European Commission proposes the European Parliament of its commissioners - European ministers. Voting is not for everyone separately, for the entire list.
I'm completely confused!
The European Parliament adopts legislation of varying degrees of obligation in areas that are within the exclusive competence of the European Union:
Customs regulation, that is, the conformity of all products coming to the EU with a uniform quality standard
Marine fishing regulations
A whole number of areas are related to the joint jurisdiction of the European Union and the participating countries:
Domestic Market Rules
Environmental protection, etc
The European Union has an advantage in their regulation - states can adopt their own laws in these areas only if there are no common European rules. But, as The Guardian notes, it is clear from the example of the migration crisis that, if there is no unity between countries, MEPs rarely make a difference, even when they formally have such an opportunity.
The European Parliament also adopts the EU budget, but very small - about 1% of the GDP of all European countries. Due to the lack of authority of the European bodies, many Western experts talk about the problem of the “democratic deficit”, which gives the EU citizens the feeling that nothing depends on them in European affairs.
Who will win?
Liberal Western experts call these elections “historic” with great alarm, because Euro-skeptics and nationalists can get a record number of seats. According to preliminary forecasts, they will occupy over 200 seats against 154 current ones. Nevertheless, the majority, albeit not as confident as they used to be, are likely to retain conservative, social democratic and liberal forces