In 1970 the Parliament was granted power over areas of the Communities' budget, which were expanded to the whole budget in 1975. A quarter of the costs is estimated to be related to translation and interpretation costs (c. €460 million) and the double seats are estimated to add an additional €180 million a year. In the events leading to the resignation of the Santer Commission, the rapporteur went against the Budgetary Control Committee's narrow vote to discharge the budget, and urged the Parliament to reject it.  For a like-for-like comparison, these two cost blocks can be excluded. Although they will appear before parliament after they have been appointed by the High Representative. The nature of the agreement is that of a private contract between parties. A protocol attached to the Treaty of Amsterdam requires that 12 plenary sessions be held in Strasbourg (none in August but two in September), which is the Parliament's official seat, while extra part sessions as well as committee meetings are held in Brussels. , The Parliament also has a great deal of indirect influence, through non-binding resolutions and committee hearings, as a "pan-European soapbox" with the ear of thousands of Brussels-based journalists. The European Parliament (formerly European Parliamentary Assembly or Common Assembly) is the parliament of the European Union (EU). Before 1979 they were appointed by their national parliaments.  The Parliament has the power to meet without being convened by another authority. , The nature of the committees differ from their national counterparts as, although smaller in comparison to those of the United States Congress, the European Parliament's committees are unusually large by European standards with between eight and twelve dedicated members of staff and three to four support staff.  Partly due to the need for interpretation, and the politics of consensus in the chamber, debates tend to be calmer and more polite than, say, the Westminster system. To this day the institution's locations are a source of contention.  As a result of being broad alliances of national parties, European group parties are very decentralised and hence have more in common with parties in federal states like Germany or the United States than unitary states like the majority of the EU states. Seats are allocated to member states according to their population, since 2014 with no state having more than 96, but no fewer than 6, to maintain proportionality. It can subsequently coerce the current Commission to resign by adopting a motion of censure.. , The European Parliament periodically commissions opinion polls and studies on public opinion trends in Member States to survey perceptions and expectations of citizens about its work and the overall activities of the European Union. Looking after the financial and administrative interests of members are five Quaestors. Each Commissioner comes before a relevant parliamentary committee hearing covering the proposed portfolio. It has refused to approve the budget only twice, in 1984 and in 1998. Employment agencies are responsible for the recruitment of agency staff.  With access to the chamber limited, entrance is controlled by ushers who aid MEPs in the chamber (for example in delivering documents). One of the oldest common institutions, it began as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). Once subscribed by both parties and the Mediator, the agreement is official. The European Parliament is an important forum for political debate and decision-making at the EU level.  All recorded votes, along with minutes and legislation, are recorded in the Official Journal of the European Union and can be accessed online. Check out the latest news, watch our meetings live and follow MEPs on social media. Together with the Council of the European Union, it adopts European legislation, commonly on the proposal of the European Commission. Their daily secretariat can be run either through the office of MEPs or through interest groups, be them corporate lobbies or NGOs.  The wording of the ECSC Treaty demonstrated the leaders' desire for more than a normal consultative assembly by using the term "representatives of the people" and allowed for direct election. If the joint conciliation text is not approved, the Parliament may adopt the budget definitively.  This was reflected in the Presidency of the Parliament with the terms being shared between the EPP and the ELDR, rather than the EPP and Socialists. The favored access to MEPs which the organization running the secretariat enjoys can be one explanation to the multiplication of Intergroups in the 1990s. , Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, it does not formally possess the right of initiative – which is a prerogative of the European Commission – as most national parliaments of the member states do. Then there are directives which bind member states to certain goals which they must achieve. 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