The European Union can be a complex and confusing thing.
Here's Anthea's How-it-all-works no-nonsense explanation of the various cogs that make it work - and where MEPs fit into the machine.
For more information, download the EU explained booklet here: "The EU Explained"
The EU consists of four main institutions:
the European Parliament
the European Commission
the Council of the European Union
the European Court of Justice
Plus the European Council
(Click the 'Next' button at the bottom of the page to find out more.)
There are currently 28 member states (countries) within the EU.
Czech Republic Netherlands
Ireland United Kingdom