The European Parliament is not only where important decisions are made, it is also where important people come to visit. Heads of state from almost a third of the world's countries have paid more than 100 visits to Parliament since the first direct EP elections in 1979. In addition there were also many other politicians and spiritual leaders who took the occasion to address MEPs during a plenary session. Find out more about our illustrious visitors by reading our article and clicking on our map.
Visitors to Parliament included among others US president Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, Queen Elisabeth II, Palestinian president Yasser Arafat, Czech president Václav Havel, Egyptian president Anwar Sadat, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, as well as three UN secretary generals.
The most frequent visitors were Jordan’s king Abdullah II and Austria’s president Thomas Klestil, who each notched up three speeches.
In our map we have not included the speeches at the beginning and the end of every EU Council presidency.