Parliament in the past

 
Inaugural speeches of newly elected Presidents of Parliament
 

The first sitting of the newly elected European Parliament will take place on 1 July 2014.

Between 1979 and 2009 the oldest Member took the chair until the voting results were announced.

In addition, between 1979 and 1989 the oldest Member also gave the inaugural speech in the new Parliament prior to the election of the President. Only three oldest Members have ever given a speech during a constituent sitting: Louise Weiss (European Progressive Democrats), Jacqueline Thome-Patenôtre (European Democratic Alliance) and Claude Autant-Lara (Technical Group of the European Right).

Since 1991, Parliament’s Rules of Procedure have stipulated that only the President may give the inaugural speech.

Following a change to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure in 2009, either the outgoing President or one of the outgoing vice-presidents now takes the chair until the voting results have been announced.

The Historical Archives Unit has gathered together the speeches of all the Presidents who started their two and a half years in office at the beginning of a parliamentary term.

 
 
17 July 1979 – 18 January 1982 – Simone VEIL (French)
 

During the constituent sitting of the new Parliament in Strasbourg on 17 July 1979, chaired by the oldest Member, Louise Weiss, Simone Veil (Liberal and Democratic Reformist Group) became the first President of the European Parliament to be elected by direct universal suffrage.

Pieter Dankert (Dutch, Socialist Group) succeeded Simone Veil in January 1982.

 
President's speech – 18 July 1979
  • Text en
  • Video fr
 
 
24 July 1984 – 20 January 1987 – Pierre PFLIMLIN (French)
 

The constituent sitting was opened by the oldest Member, Jacqueline Thome-Patenôtre, in Strasbourg on 24 July 1984. Once the votes had been cast, she announced that Pierre Pflimlin (Group of the European People's Party (Christian-Democratic Group)) had been elected President of the European Parliament.

Lord Plumb (British, European Democratic Group) took over from Pierre Pflimlin as President of the European Parliament in January 1987.

 
President's speech – 27 July 1984
  • Text en
  • Video fr
 
 
25 July 1989 – 13 January 1992 – Enrique BARÓN CRESPO (Spanish)
 

The first sitting of the third parliamentary term was opened by the oldest Member, Claude Autant-Lara, in the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg on 25 July 1989. After winning an absolute majority (238 votes) in the first ballot, Enrique Barón Crespo (Socialist Group) was unveiled by Mr Autant-Lara as the new President.

Egon Klepsch (German, Group of the European People's Party (Christian-Democratic Group)) began his term as President in January 1992.

 
President's speech – 25 July 1989
  • Text en
  • Video fr
 
 
19 July 1994 – 13 January 1997 – Klaus HÄNSCH (German)
 

The oldest Member, Vassilis Ephremidis, opened the first sitting of the new Parliament in the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg on 19 July 1994. With 365 votes, Klaus Hänsch (Group of the Party of European Socialists) became the seventh President of the European Parliament.

In January 1997, Mr Hänsch was succeeded by José María Gil-Robles (Spanish, Group of the European People's Party (Christian-Democratic Group)).

 
President's speech – 20 July 1994
  • Text en
  • Video fr
 
 
20 July 1999 – 14 January 2002 – Nicole FONTAINE (French)
 

Under the chairmanship of the oldest Member, Giorgio Napolitano, who opened the first sitting of the fifth parliamentary term in Strasbourg on 20 July 1999, Nicole Fontaine (Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats) became the second female President of the European Parliament.

Pat Cox (Irish, Group of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party) took over in January 2002.

 
President's speech – 21 July 1999
  • Text en
  • Video fr
 
 
20 July 2004 – 15 January 2007 – Josep BORRELL FONTELLES (Spanish)
 

The first sitting of the sixth parliamentary term opened with the oldest Member, Giovanni Berlinguer, in the chair. After winning an absolute majority, Josep Borrell Fontelles (Socialist Group in the European Parliament) became the 11th President of the European Parliament on 20 July 2004.

In January 2007, Hans Gert Pöttering (German, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats) was elected President of the European Parliament.

 
President's speech – 20 July 2004
  • Text en
  • Video fr
 
 
14 July 2009 – 16 January 2012 – Jerzy BUZEK (Polish)
 

With the outgoing President, Hans Gert Pöttering, in the chair, the European Parliament elected Jerzy Buzek (Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)) as its President at the constituent sitting of the seventh parliamentary term in Strasbourg on 14 July 2009.

In 2012, Martin Schulz (German, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament) became the 14th President of the European Parliament since the first direct elections.

 
President's speech – 14 July 2009
  • Text en
  • Video fr
 
 
 
 
Contacts
 
  • Central Historical Archives
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    Place de l'Europe
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