clareferguson By / May 19, 2014

Elections Week

It comes as no surprise that this week our blog will focus on the European elections. However, to take a…

It comes as no surprise that this week our blog will focus on the European elections. However, to take a slightly different angle on this hot topic, the EPRS Historical Archives have prepared a number of posts based on the elections of the past.

The elections next week will be only the 8th since the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community Common Assembly in 1952. This is because the first direct elections were not held until 1979. Our post on the history of direct elections explains why, when the need for citizens to have a say in the future of Europe was agreed from the very beginning of the project, it took so long to hold direct elections to the European Parliament.

European elections 2014There were some very interesting personalities elected at these very first direct elections, not least Simone Veil, chosen to run for the UDF and a great champion of gender equality. Our post on her election describes how, against all the odds, she became the EP’s first President elected in direct elections. Another well-known personality elected in 1979 was that of Lord Plumb, who later became the EP’s 4th President. Lord Plumb was very active in the debate on the Single European Act, relations with the then Soviet Union and the Palestinian Conflict, and a fervent supporter of human rights. Read more about these personalities in our posts by the Historical Archives, providing access to documents and images.

Elections were not the only requirement for Europe to be recognised as an important player on the political scene. In the 1960s it was considered that a recognisable symbol was required and discussion began on the flag. Our post outlines the very formal procedure undertaken to come to the blue flag with gold stars that we all recognise today.

Additionally, the European Parliament needed a home. The first hemicycle of the European Parliament actually pre-dates direct elections, as it was installed in Luxembourg in 1973. Still in use as a meeting room today, our post provides a useful description of the development of the room.

We hope that our Elections Week will shed some light on the elections of the past. It is brought to you by the Historical Archives of the European Parliament, who hold a fascinating collection of original documents, digital records, pictures, posters and audio and video records illustrating the role of the European Parliament since 1952. The Historical Archives are also open to the public.

And let’s not forget the elections of the future… we’ll be featuring elections for a couple weeks more, also on other media #EP2014.

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  • Good afternoon everyone . Braulio Morgado ‘m living in Portugal . I have many physical disabilities , as did three operations column . Tried in 2010 Modar of living, working , to avoid carrying weights , because it causes many physical pains. In 2010 , the initiative was to start my dream job. design tourist train from the town of Olhão . I was deceived and robbed by the supplier and the municipality did nothing to help me , help and promised not cumprio I’m going through serious difficulties because I cheated and took everything. The Train, and all my savings and my dream project. Have sought help at all . I do not know where else to look for help . Saturated ‘m seeking help , I’m desperate because I can not find help . The Lords of the European Parliamentary can help me resume my work and design ? please! For the love of GOD appeal very much for your help. The gentlemen can help me? I await your response with hope help .

    Greetings to all .

    Braulio Morgado

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