Citizens’ Enquiries (Ask EP)
If you want to find out more about the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament, you can contact the Citizens' Enquiries Unit (Ask EP) using the form accessible below.
You ask, we answer
You can find a selection of recent topics of particular concern to citizens writing to the European Parliament and our respective answers.
Staffing arrangements of Members of the European Parliament
Members are free to choose their own staff, although they may not employ close relatives. To cover the costs of hiring staff, Members have a monthly budget of about €25 000 at their disposal. However, the Parliament does not simply give these sums to the Members. Parliament pays their staff salaries directly – and contributes to the relevant tax and social security authorities.
Verifying the credentials of new Members of the European Parliament
The European Parliament regularly receives enquiries from citizens as to how it ensures that elected Members do not hold any office that is incompatible with the office of Member of the European Parliament. Incompatibilities include being member of a national parliament, a member of the government of an EU country or a member of the European Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Ombudsman, or sitting on the European Central Bank's Board of Directors.
What are Spitzenkandidaten?
The European Parliament regularly receives enquiries from citizens on the election of the President of the European Commission and the process known as 'Spitzenkandidaten' or 'lead candidates'. Ahead of the 2019 European elections, seven European political parties put forward one or several lead candidates for the presidency of the European Commission.
What is the European Union doing about climate change?
A 2050 low carbon objective, adopted by the European Council in 2009, seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 % by 2050, compared with 1990 levels. In March 2019, the European Parliament called for a more ambitious target of reaching net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
European elections: voting rights for EU citizens living abroad
The European Parliament regularly receives enquiries from EU citizens living abroad about how to vote in the European elections. EU citizens living abroad (whether in another EU country or outside the EU) may have the right to vote, under certain conditions, in the European Parliament elections in their country of citizenship. In addition, EU citizens living in an EU country of which they are not nationals have a right to vote in the European Parliament elections in the country where they live, under the same conditions as nationals.