A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to serve as a popular representative in the Parliament of the European Union. When the European Parliament was first established, MEPs were directly appointed by the governments of member states from among those already sitting in their own national parliaments. Since 1979, however, MEPs have been elected by direct universal suffrage. Each member state establishes its own method for electing MEPs – and in some states this has changed over time – but the system chosen must be a form of proportional representation. In some member states the MEPs are elected to represent a single national constituency; in others they are elected from sub-national regions.