Meet the Political Groups in the European Parliament
The European Parliament is a political institution where different ideas on issues are hotly contested. Political groups play an essential role in this clash of ideas, as they bring together like-minded representatives from across Europe, giving them a voice in the decision-making process.
Compromise is the inevitable result in a political forum where no group possesses an absolute majority. Getting there involves a political process with each group arguing its own position on a given matter. Groups in the European Parliament cover most of the political spectrum, but there also some MEPs who stay out of them – they are known as non-attached members.
The key role of political groups is clearly visible during plenary meetings. MEPs are seated from left to right according to political affiliation and speaking time is distributed among groups according to the number of their members. Many important decisions on how the Parliament operates (including what is going to be voted when) are prepared in the Conference of Presidents, a body made up of the leaders of the political groups and the president of the Parliament.