In the past 

The European Parliament has evolved significantly over the years, steadily accruing additional responsibilities and gaining in importance. While its predecessor the Assembly was merely there to supervise, the Parliament today is the only directly-elected EU institution, charged with representing people’s interests. In addition to shaping and deciding on new legislation, it is also responsible for scrutinising the EU institutions and promoting human rights in and outside Europe. In this section you will find out more about how the Parliament has developed over time.

Previous elections 

MEPs have been elected in direct elections across the EU since 1979. Find out all the figures from the latest elections and historic data on the political composition of Parliament, turnout and the share of elected women MEPs.

The Parliament and the treaties 

Changes to the European treaties have led to the gradual increase of Parliament’s powers. Read about the evolution of EU’s primary law and its impact on Parliament.

Historical archives 

Browse through historical sources, articles and studies and discover Parliament’s contribution to European integration.

in the past     
 

European Parliament timeline

Check out our timeline to see how the European Parliament has evolved over the years and check out the photos and videos from the historic events that have shaped the Parliament.

Historical archives

The Historical Archives are the official record keeper of the European Parliament since its creation in 1952, with a unique collection of books and journals on European integration history preserved by the Historical Library.