Every five years, you have the opportunity to directly elect MEPs to represent you in the European Parliament in the same way that local councillors do at local authority level, Assembly Members do in Cardiff and Members of Parliament do in Westminster.
There are now 28 member states making up the European Union housing over 490 million people, but UK is scheduled to depart in March 2019.
What does your MEP do?
MEPs are elected on a regional basis. Wales has four MEPs. Derek Vaughan is your Labour representative.
MEPs vote on European legislation which is binding right across the whole of the European Union.EU laws are made by MEP and national government ministers acting in the Council of Ministers.
The EU can only make laws in policy areas permitted by the various treaties that govern it and the European Parliament plays an active role in drafting legislation on, for example, environmental protection, consumer rights, equal opportunities, transport, and the free movement of workers, capital, services and goods.It also has joint power over the annual budget of the European Union.
MEPs divide their time between working in the European Parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg from Monday to Thursdays and then back in their constituencies on Fridays and through the weekend.
Derek's work in the European Parliament
Derek was elected as a Labour Member of the European Parliament for Wales in June 2009 and was re-elected in May 2014.
He is a member of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and is the Vice Chair of the Budgetary Control Committee.
Derek also sits on the Regional Development Committee; the Delegation for relations with Australia and New-Zealand and is a substitute on the Budget Committee, the Delegation for relations with India and the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.