Voters go to the polls to elect a new parliament representing more than 500m people across 28 EU member states. For five years, members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will pass laws proposed by the European Commission, subject to approval by national governments in the EU Council.
National contingents range in size from 96 seats for Germany to the minimum six each for tiny Cyprus, Estonia, Luxembourg and Malta. The main job of the EU parliament is to pass laws, working with ministers from the member states, who are collectively known as the Council. The Council approves a law if there is a qualified majority: at least 55% of members (16 out of 28 states) and representing at least 65% of the EU population.