What is a political party at European level?
A political party at European level is an organization following a political program, which is composed of national parties and individuals as members and which is represented in several Member States. As mentioned in the Treaties, "political parties at European level are important as a factor for integration within the Union. They contribute to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union." There are currently 13 political parties participating in the European elections of 22-25 May 2014. Out of these European political parties 12 are currently represented in the Parliament with at least one Member. They cover a broad political spectrum, from Left to Right and pro-European federalists to Euro-sceptic nationalists. There is also considerable variation of political views within the parliamentary groups. There are also a number of unattached members in the Parliament.
For more information about the European political parties: who they are, what they do and how they are financed, read here.
What is a political group?
The Members of the European Parliament sit in political groups – they are not organized by nationality, but by political affiliation. There are currently 7 political groups in the European Parliament. 25 Members are needed to form a political group, and at least one-quarter of the Member States must be represented within the group. Members may not belong to more than one political group. Some Members do not belong to any political group and are known as non-attached Members.
Read more about the political groups of the European parliament here.