The Historical Archives is the official record keeper of the European Parliament. It manages and preserves the Parliament's official public documents and other archival fonds, dating back to 1952. It also assists researchers on the history of the Parliament and European integration, publishes studies and articles on these subjects, and works closely with the EU Historical Archives at the European University Institute and the House of European History.

In memoriam: Simone Veil

Simone Veil, July 1979, Strasbourg © Communautés européennes 1979

With great sadness, we learned of the passing of Mrs. Veil who was the first female President of the European Parliament.

Born in 1927, Mrs. Veil graduated law from the "Institut d'études politiques" in Paris and went on to join the French Ministry of Justice in 1956. She entered politics in 1969, joining the private office of René Pleven, the Minister of Justice.In 1974 she became Minister of Public Health, Social Security and Family, until 1979 when at the request of President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, she led the Union for Democracy (UDF) list in the 1979 European elections, the first by universal suffrage. On the 17th July 1979 she is elected President of the European Parliament. In 1981 she received the Charlemagne Prize awarded annually since 1950 by the German city of Aachen to people who contributed to the unity of Europe. Member of the Parliament until 1993 she was chair and member of numerous Committees: Legal Affairs, Environment, Public Health and Consumer Protection, Policy Committee, Foreign Affairs and Security committee. In 1993 she became the first woman to hold a senior ministerial post in France as State Minister for Social Affairs, Health and Cities. From 1998 to 2007, she was a member of the French Constitutional Council and on 20 November 2008 she was elected a member of the "Académie Française".

The Historical Archives hold her archives as President of the European Parliament and organised them  in three organic series: Public personality, Presidency of the Parliament and Relations with the General Secretariat of Parliament. The largest series are those relating to sponsorships and events, media image, defence of human rights and assistance to private individuals. The president's various activities include notably inter-institutional (Council, Commission and other Community bodies), interparliamentary (Member States and third countries), external (Member States, third countries, international organisations, European movements, etc.) relations, relations with the press and with citizens. To date, this archival fonds contains over 2 700 files opened to public consultation.

It happened in the EP

January 1978: the European Parliament recognises the work of Amnesty International


Delegate Charles McDonald, Rapporteur of the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize Resolution © COMMUNAUTÉ EUROPÉENNE

In January 1978, the European Parliament passed a resolution welcoming the Norwegian Nobel Committee's decision to award the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize to the non-governmental organisation Amnesty International. Parliament expressed its support for Amnesty International and its work around the world to defend human rights and fundamental freedoms. It called on the European institutions and the governments of the nine Member States to give their support to Amnesty International and allow the organisation to carry out its activities freely.


Historical Archives

Bâtiment Robert Schuman
Place de l'Europe
L-2929 Luxembourg