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The European Parliament is one of the main institutions of the European Union. It fulfills the legislative function within the EU, together with the Council, as they both have the power to adopt legislative acts (directives, regulations) and to amend existing EU legislation. The Parliament also supervises the work of the European Commission and other EU bodies and cooperates with national parliaments of EU countries to get their input into the legislative process.
The members of the European Parliament are directly elected by voters in all EU member states to represent people’s interests with regard to EU law-making and to make sure other EU institutions are working democratically.
Given its substantial legislative and budgetary powers, the Parliament sets, together with the representatives of the governments of the member states in the Council, the direction in which the European project is heading. In doing so, the Parliament has sought to promote democracy and human rights – not only in Europe, but also throughout the world.
The European Parliament addresses policy issues online as well as offline, including, for example, human rights online, network neutrality, cybecrime and cybersecurity, electronic commerce, online content policy, etc. Such issues are not only the focus of some of the legislative proposals discussed and decided upon within the Parliament, but they can also be the subject of parliamentary hearings, declarations and resolutions.