EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

From allowances to golden parachutes: How much are MEPs paid?

MEPs get daily and monthly allowances alongside their salary
MEPs get daily and monthly allowances alongside their salary Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Jack Schickler
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button
Copy/paste the article video embed link below:Copy to clipboardCopied

We look at the perks the newly elected lawmakers meeting this week can expect.

ADVERTISEMENT

MEPs are gathering in Strasbourg for their first formal sitting since EU elections held in June.

From salaries to allowances to golden parachutes, MEPs can expect considerable benefits while they serve as EU lawmakers – and even after they leave.

Here's a list of the main perks that come with being a member of the European Parliament.

Salary

All MEPs have the same gross salary, regardless of their status or service.  

They get €10,337 a month – or €8,090 after special EU deductions are taken off. Most MEPs must also pay additional national taxes, though that varies by which country they’re from.

Those are the figures as of 1 January 2024, which are uprated each year for inflation.  

It compares favorably with national lawmakers. As of April 2024 British MPs earned gross monthly salaries of around £7,600 (€9,019) per month; in France, it’s around €7,637.  

And it’s definitely more than the salary the typical ordinary worker in the EU can expect, which according to Eurostat is €2,944 a month.

General expenditure

MEPs get a monthly expenditure allowance of €4,950 to manage office costs in their home constituency, like rent and IT supplies. (Office space in Brussels and Strasbourg is provided by the Parliament). 

That’s highly controversial because the sum can be deposited directly into MEPs' personal bank accounts. Unlike, say, travel expenses, they are not required to justify or submit invoices, or disclose how the money was spent.  

Controversy over expenses has occasionally headed to the EU courts. Ioannis Lagos, an MEP for the far-right Golden Dawn party, was convicted of belonging to a criminal organisation in 2020. 

In the seventh-month period between conviction and the Parliament agreeing to lift his immunity, Lagos had access to more than €100,000 in public funds – and campaigners have argued he might have tried to use taxpayer-funded travel expenses to escape justice.

Daily allowance

Beyond their salary, EU lawmakers also get paid just for showing up.

MEPs can claim a flat-rate allowance of €350 per day, intended to cover accommodation, food, and other costs while in Brussels or Strasbourg – but that doesn’t cover weekends or non-sitting days.

There’s just one catch: MEPs have to sign a register to confirm their presence – and, to get the full amount, they have to vote too. If lawmakers miss more than half of the roll-call votes during a plenary session, their stipend is cut to just €175 per day. 

ADVERTISEMENT

According to the Parliament’s calendar, there are political, committee or plenary events for around 150 days per year, making this worth around €4,400 per month on average.  

Side jobs

If that’s not enough to get by, MEPs are also allowed to have side jobs – and around two thirds of them do, according to research into the last European Parliament undertaken by Transparency International.

They’re not always paid for their extra efforts, but MEPs collectively raked in €8.6 million per year from them, meaning the average MEP earned €12,000 extra per year from elsewhere, the pressure group found.

In many cases, the outside earnings exceed an MEP’s core salary, sometimes coming from corporations who also lobby on EU policy issues, Transparency International said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Golden parachute

MEPs continue to draw an allowance even after they leave office – for instance if they aren’t re-elected, or quit to take a job in the private sector.  

It’s worth the same as their monthly salary, and they continue to draw it for a transitional period that depends on their length of service.  

A lawmaker who served five full terms could thus earn a golden parachute worth a total €248,000, over two years.  

MEPs also qualify for a pension when they turn 63. It’s worth as much as 70% of their salary – accruing at 3.5% of salary for each year they served. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Thousands in travel expenses

MEPs are refunded for travel to and from the European Parliament itself.  

That includes business-class air travel, first-class rail, or refunds for car journeys. An MEP driving from Toulouse to Strasbourg, for example, could claim back €580 per trip.  

If they visit other countries within the EU outside of official Parliament meetings, they can also claim a maximum €4,886 a year for travel and accommodation.  

When in Brussels or Strasbourg, MEPs also have access to parliament's own fleet of vehicles for official business.

ADVERTISEMENT

Budget for staff

Most MEPs can also hire three or four assistants, who help with administrative and policy work.

MEPs get a monthly budget allocation of €29,557 to pay their assistants’ salaries, benefits and other associated costs.

Lawmakers are free to pick their own staffers, but are forbidden from hiring close family members. 

Share this articleComments

You might also like

Golden Dawn MEP's €100,000+ expense claims must be published, court says

Who are the best-paid MPs in the European Union?

Hungary brushes off ministerial no-shows at EU Council health summit