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The European Parliament (EP) is one of three bodies of the European Union (EU) involved in its legislative process. The members of the EP were determined by the national parliaments until direct elections were introduced in 1979. Since then, EP members are elected by the people in the Member States in the European elections that are held every 5 years. Since the last European elections and after 10 new Member States joined the EU in 2004, the European Parliament was composed of 732 members. With the most recent enlargement and two more countries accessioned on January 1, 2007, the number of members of the EP rose to 785. Following a graded system, the Member States are assigned different numbers of seats in the EP according ...

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