12:40pm Wednesday 23rd January 2013
By William Tomaney
Member states: 27, with planned accession of Croatia in July, 2013.
Political centres: Brussels, Strasbourg, Luxembourg.
Institutions: Parliament, European Council, Council of the European Union, European Commission, Court of Justice, Court of Auditors, Central Bank.
Budget: 864.3 billion [£724 billion].
Financial framework: Sustainable growth and regional development: 44 per cent, Conservation and management of natural resources: 43 per cent, EU as a global player: 6 per cent, Citizenship, freedom, security and justice: 1 per cent, Other: 6 per cent.
Next Parliament elections: 2014.
Political groups: European People's Party (265), Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (184), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (84), European Greens–European Free Alliance (55), European Conservatives and Reformists (54), European United Left–Nordic Green Left (35); Europe of Freedom and Democracy (32); Non-Inscrits (32)
West Midlands MEPs: Michael Cashman (Labour), Nicole Sinclaire (We Demand a Referendum Party), Anthea McIntyre (Conservative), Malcolm Harbour (Conservative), Phil Bennion (Liberal Democrat), Philip Bradbourn (Conservative), Mike Nattrass (UKIP).
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