The Fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989

Democracy and Human Rights

From the Berlin Wall to the pitches of the FIFA World Cup, the European Parliament has been at the heart of debates concerning human rights and democracy in the EU and worldwide. Read these studies to learn more about the work of Parliament and its partners in upholding human rights through the decades. 

Read more about the EP's involvement here

Plenary session of the Assembly of the ECSC

In the past

The contemporary European Parliament is a result of the many years of debate and development in Europe that followed the establishment of its predecessor, the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. Read about the key events and figures that helped shape this European institution throughout its history here. 

Discover EP and EU history here

Illustration of the European Parliament

European Parliament

The Parliament is constantly evolving and the scope of its work has developed over the years, from the initial expansion of its budgetary powers to being part of events such as the European Convention. Discover more about the Parliament's internal workings with these studies here. 

Learn about the history of the European Parliament

Demonstration in Support of European Elections

Towards Elections

In 1979, the European Parliament held direct elections, making it the first directly elected international parliament in the world. Learn more about the history that led to this event here. 

Find publications on Direct Elections here

MEP Altiero Spinelli Presenting Report on Creating EU

Annual Reports

Each year, the Archives Unit of the European Parliament publishes a report which describes its activities over the year and sets out the objectives of Parliament's official record keeper. Access the Annual Reports from 2015 to 2021 here. 

View the reports here