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About the European Parliament

The European Parliament is the only supranational institution whose members are democratically elected by direct universal suffrage. It represents the people of the Member States. The European Parliament, which is elected every five years, is involved in drafting numerous laws (directives, regulations etc.) that affect the daily life of every citizen.

Each Member State decides on the form its election will take, but follows identical democratic ground rules: equality of the sexes and a secret ballot. In all Member States, the voting age is 18, with the exception of Austria, where it is 16. European elections are already governed by a number of common principles: direct universal suffrage, proportional representation and a five-year renewable term.

The European Parliament is made up of 736 Members elected in the 27 Member States of the enlarged European Union. Since 1979 MEPs have been elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year period.

The seats are, as a general rule, shared out as a  proportion of the population of each Member State. Each Member State has a set number of seats, the maximum being 99 and the minimum five.

European Parliament member Leonidas Donskis was invited by the Lithuanian Liberal Movement Party to campaign in the European Parliament elections. He was elected in the Republic of Lithuania.

The Members of the European Parliament are grouped by political affinity and not by nationality. There are 7 (seven) political groups in European Parliament today. Leonidas Donskis is working as a part of  the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group (ALDE), which is the third largest political group in the Parliament.

Members are divided into various specialized standing committees. There are 20 parliamentary committees in the Parliament. It consists of 24 to 76 members; they have a chairman, an office and a secretariat. The European Parliament may set up subcommittees dealing with specific problems and special committees and may set up committees of inquiry into suspected violations of EU law or to deal with cases of maladministration.

Leonidas Donskis is a member of the Development Committee and member of the Subcommittee on Human Rights. He is also a substitute member at the committee of Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

Leonidas Donskis is the full member of the EU and Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee delegation, as well as, the delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the EURONEST. He also is a substitute member of the EU relations with Israel, Moldova and the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly delegations.

The task of the inter-parliamentary delegations is to maintain contacts with countries outside the European Union and non-candidate countries´ parliaments. Joint parliamentary committees are collaborating with the parliaments of the candidate countries.

The European Parliament has 5 multi-assemblies that bring together members of European Parliament and parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly), Mediterranean (EMPA), Latin America (Eurolat), the EU`s eastern neighbours (EURONEST) and NATO countries.

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What do you think?
Which of the activities of L. Donskis at the European Parliament proved to be the most effective?
Activities in the field of human rights
Work with Eastern Partnership and post-Soviet countries
Support of the Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the EU

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