The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary body of
the European Union. Together with the Council of the European Union,
it forms the bicameral legislative branch of the Union's institutions
and has been described by some as one of the most powerful
legislatures in the world. The Parliament, together with the Council,
form the highest legislative body within the Union. This is only
within the competencies of the European Community being limited to
specific policy areas, however Union law does override national law.
The Parliament is composed of 785 MEPs (Member of the European
Parliament) who serve the second largest democratic electorate in the
world (after India) and the largest trans-national democratic
electorate in the world (492 million). It has been directly elected,
every five years by universal suffrage, since 1979. Although the
European Parliament has legislative power that such bodies as those
above do not possess, it does not have legislative initiative like
most national parliaments. While it is the "first institution" of the
European Union, the Council has greater powers over legislation than
the Parliament where codecision procedure (equal rights of amendment
and rejection) doesn't apply. It has however had control over the EU
budget since the 1970s and has a veto over the appointment of the
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Today's selected anniversaries:
The Holy Roman Empire dissolved after Francis II, the last Holy
Roman Emperor, was forced to abdicate.
At Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York, USA, William Kemmler became
the first person to be executed in an electric chair.
World War II: Enola Gay, a B-29 Superfortress of the U.S. Army Air
Force, dropped an atomic bomb named Little Boy on Hiroshima, Japan,
killing an estimated 80,000 people.
Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahayan became emir and ruler of Abu
British computer programmer Tim Berners-Lee posted files online
describing his idea for a system of interlinked, hypertext documents
accessible on the Internet, which he called a "World Wide Web".
Wiktionary's Word of the day:
diaphanous: Of a fine, almost transparent texture.
Wikiquote of the day:
Flower in the crannied wall,I pluck you out of the crannies,I hold you
here, root and all, in my hand,Little flower — but if I could
understandWhat you are, root and all, and all in all,I should know
what God and man is. -- Alfred Tennyson