I’d like to reply to an online comment in the Watford Observer. The comment was that members of the European Parliament “ONLY get to vote on laws provided by the unelected Commission and if they don’t like the answer they send it back to the MEP's till they vote the desired way!”

But in most cases, the European Parliament has the power to amend proposals.

Most of the time, to pass EU law, there is a separation of powers with two Houses that can both amend and both have to agree.

The two Houses are the European Parliament, and the Council of the EU. The latter is the key decision-making body - the national governments of the member countries.

The role of the European Parliament has been strengthened since it first met in 1958. Co-decision was brought in in 1992 and it was updated again in 2007.

The European Commission is appointed because its job is to work equally for all the member countries.

The European Parliament interviews candidates for Commission jobs in public - these are called confirmation hearings.

The European Parliament can and does block people from Commission jobs for conflict of interest.

The European Parliament can sack the entire Commission with a two-thirds majority.

The Commission makes legislative proposals so that proposals are not coming from any country or interest group. This is called the power of initiation. There is plenty of discussion first.

The Commission runs public consultations. The Commission can be asked to make a proposal. It can say no, but it has to give a reason. National parliaments can object if a proposal goes beyond what’s allowed.

The Commission makes some decisions, such as if cross-border company mergers are allowed under competition rules.

Commission decisions can be challenged in the EU’s lower court, and appealed in the upper court.

Phil Jones,

Member, European Movement UK