- Simon Bulmer, Simon BulmerProfessor of Politics, University of Sheffield
- Owen Parker, Owen ParkerLecturer in European Politics, University of Sheffield
- Ian Bache, Ian BacheProfessor of Politics, University of Sheffield
- Stephen GeorgeStephen GeorgeEmeritus Professor of Politics, University of Sheffield
- and Charlotte BurnsCharlotte BurnsProfessor, University of Sheffield
This chapter focuses on the European Parliament (EP), the one directly elected institution of the European Union. It first provides an overview of the EP’s composition and functions, before discussing the struggle for increased powers within the EP. It then considers debates and research on the EP. The focus of contemporary research on the EP includes political behaviour and EP elections, the internal politics and organization of the EP, and inter-institutional bargaining between the EP, the European Council, and the European Commission. One theme of the academic debate is the extent to which the EP has become an effective independent actor in the affairs of the EU.