Irish MEPs since 1973
The European Parliament is the only directly elected EU body. It represents the EU's 500 million inhabitants and plays a key role in electing the president of the European Commission. It shares power over the EU budget and legislation with the Council of the European Union.
Direct elections to the European Parliament are held every five years and have taken place since 1979. Prior to that from 1973 when Ireland joined the European Economic Community (EEC), Irish MEPs were nominated by the Dáil and Seanad.