The Historical Archives of the European Parliament contain all documents, whatever their form and medium, produced or received by the European Parliament and previous former parliamentary assemblies in the course of their work and kept by their creators for their own administrative purposes. The documents report on legislative and administrative activities since the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952 and constitute an invaluable source of information for the history of the institution and of European integration and common policies.

What are Fonds?

Fonds are the "whole of the records, regardless of form or medium, organically created and/or accumulated and used by a particular person, family, or corporate body in the course of that creator's activities and functions" (General International Standard Archival Description, Second Edition, 1999). For example, the fonds of a President's cabinet will contain any and all documents saved by the President and their cabinet throughout their presidency. 

What's in these Fonds?

The contents of the fonds illustrate the first stages of the European Community, with recorded documents encompassing the 1952-1953 Ad Hoc Assembly, the 1952-1958 Common Assembly of the ECSC and the Committee of the Four Presidents during the corresponding period. They also demonstrate the evolution of parliamentary cooperation between the European Economic Community and the Associated African and Malagasy States (AASM), the current Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).

The iconographic collection includes a group of posters dedicated to the European elections and to commemorative or parliamentary events organised by the European Parliament. 

The Historical Archives of the European Parliament do not systematically collect the documents of the political groups or the documents of all Members which are considered private archives. However, any Member may decide to deposit and entrust the European Parliament at any time with documents related to their term of office for the purposes of processing and dissemination.

Reception of Former European Parliament Presidents

Former Presidents

During their two-and-half year term, the President represents the European Parliament vis-à-vis the outside world and in its relations with the other EU institutions. They oversee the work of the Parliament, its constituent bodies and the debates in plenary and ensure that Parliament’s Rules of Procedure are adhered to.

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Council and Commission Statements in Strasbourg

Former MEPs

The European Parliament consists of 720 Members elected in the 27 Member States of the European Union. Since 1979, MEPs have been elected by direct universal suffrage for a five-year period, during which they divide their time between their constituencies, Strasbourg and Brussels.

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European Parliament Secretary-Generals Priestley and Vinci

Former Secretaries-General

The Secretary-General is responsible for the organisation of parliamentary business under the political leadership of the President, the Bureau and the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament. They work to ensure cooperation and coordination amongst Directorate-Generals of the European Parliament.

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Enlarged Bureau meeting - Press conference

Senior administration

Informed by the institution’s Rules of Procedure, the Parliament's senior administrative bodies have a diversity of roles in its governance, overseeing tasks from organising committees and delegations to taking care of Members’ administrative matters.

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EEC-ACP Convention Signing 1979

Interinstitutional cooperation

An essential part of Parliament’s work, interinstitutional cooperation between the Parliament and external bodies is an area of immense activity that includes, amongst other initiatives, partnerships with multilateral assemblies (including EU and non-EU states) and other European institutions.

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Robert Schuman in Plenary, 1958

Parliamentary activities

The records of the European Parliament include a variety of texts, reports, parliamentary questions, petitions and committee papers from the European Community of Coal and Steel Assembly established in 1952, to the Ad hoc Assembly (1952-1954) and the European Parliament.

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Donation and handover event, 2023


The Archives of the European Parliament are responsible for acquiring, treating, and preserving documents that record the history of the institution and, by extension, bringing new life to its memory by making our heritage accessible to every citizen. With this aim, the Archives always welcome donations from Members or political groups to process, disseminate and highlight their activities for the next generations to come.

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