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Parliament's powers | Locations | Party groups | Enlargement | Salaries & expenses | Apathy


Enlargement

Before enlargement on 1 May 2004 the parliament had 626 seats. The new parliament elected in June 2004 has 732, and it will grow again when Bulgaria and Romania join, possibly in 2007.

As 162 new MEPs from new member states have taken their seats, most of the older member states have lost a few members of parliament - Germany avoided this fate because it had the fewest seats per head of population.

Enlargement puts huge new burdens on the parliament's translation service, which must now provide simultaneous translation of all debates into 20 languages.

This amounts to 190 different language combinations - Finnish-Czech, German-Portuguese, English-Maltese and so on.

From now on, more translations will take place through a third language, such as English or French.

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