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