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This is the eighth explainer in the Ask the IIEA series. These explainers aim to answer common questions about European affairs and to provide an insight into what’s going on in the EU.

The citizens of the European Union will be voting between 23 and 26 May to elect the next European Parliament for the period 2019 to 2024. Members of the European Parliament, or MEPs, do not sit in national political parties but rather in European-wide political groups. This explainer will identify the number of political groups in the European Parliament and why they are important. It will also highlight some of the main political trends that are emerging in the run up to the elections and examine the implications of these trends for political group formation in the new European Parliament.

This explainer is available here.

If you have a topic you would like us to address in this series, please email us at