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Historical Archives

The Historical Archives maintain and make available to the public the documents related to the legislative and political activity of the European Parliament from 1952 until the 6th parliamentary term (2004-2009).
Historical Archives has written 27 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

1976 Electoral Act 40 years on: History and significance for European democracy today

Written by Wilhelm Lehmann, On 7 December, the European Parliament and the European University Institute held a joint history roundtable on the occasion of the 40 year anniversary of the 1976 Electoral Act, which introduced direct elections to the European Parliament. The event, organised by the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, took place in … Continue reading

The role of Altiero Spinelli on the path towards European Union

On 14 February 1984, the European Parliament debated and adopted the draft ‘Treaty establishing the European Union’.Now, 30 years on, Spinelli and the draft treaty he championed are considered to be key elements in the European Union’s integration process. Continue reading

The first hemicycle of the European Parliament: Schuman Building, Luxembourg

Written by Francesca Davanzo, The Schuman Building Since 1973, the Schuman Building has been home to a number of departments of the European Parliament’s Secretariat. In spite of its austere look and administrative nature, it houses the first hemicycle (debating chamber) that was designed and built for the plenary sittings of the European Parliament. Even … Continue reading

L’impact de la Communauté européenne du charbon et de l’acier (CECA) sur le Luxembourg et la construction européenne

Écrit par Iolanda Mombelli, “L’impact de la Communauté européenne du charbon et de l’acier (CECA) sur le Luxembourg et la construction européenne” et l’histoire des pouvoirs et de la politique budgétaire du Parlement européen (PE) étaient au cœur des discussions de la table ronde organisée le 26 novembre 2015 dans l’ancien hémicycle du Parlement à … Continue reading

The History of European electoral reform and the European Elections Act

Written by Wilhelm Lehmann Next year, the entry into force of the Electoral Act (or Act Concerning the Election of the Representatives of the European Parliament by Direct Universal Suffrage in full), will mark its 40th anniversary. The Act laid the legal foundation for holding the first direct elections to the European Parliament, in June … Continue reading

The 1995 enlargement of the European Union: The accession of Finland and Sweden

Written by Edward Whitfield, This year, Finland and Sweden celebrate the 20th anniversary of their accession to the European Union, as does Austria. This study is an examination of the events that surrounded this enlargement from the specific viewpoint of the first two countries, both Nordic states. The examination takes into account the relevant pressures … Continue reading

The Historical Archives: European Union history and European Parliament history

Written by Isabel Saavedra As official record keeper of the European Parliament, the Historical Archives hold a wealth of historical documents spanning from the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community Assembly in 1952, to the present. These documents include official EP texts (adopted reports and resolutions, parliamentary questions, and debates), and also the … Continue reading

Launch of the Historical Archives of the European Parliament website

Written by Alexandra Devantier and Tessa Tumbrägel Interested in historical information about the European Parliament? Whether you are a researcher or simply curious, the Parliament’s historical archives can be now found on a new dedicated website within the Europarl portal. This new website presents the richness of the European Parliament holdings, illustrated with samples of … Continue reading

History of budgetary powers in the EU. Part I: European Coal and Steel Community 1952-2002

Written by Alfredo De Feo This study, the first part of a wider analysis on the European Parliament’s role in EU budgetary powers, traces the very first phase of interinstitutional relations in the framework of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The study is part of a joint research project between the European University … Continue reading

A stepping stone towards gender equality: the Ad Hoc Committee on Women’s Rights 1979-1981

Written by Claudia Touceira The European Parliament has a long history of interest and involvement in women’s rights and gender equality. As early as 1957, the Treaty of Rome included the principle of equal pay for male and female workers (Art. 119 : Each Member State shall during the first stage ensure and subsequently maintain the … Continue reading

25 years of democratic change in Central and Eastern Europe: The European Parliament and the end of the Cold War

Written by Iolanda Mombelli A roundtable discussion was organised on 3 February 2015 in the Library Reading Room, with the participation of distinguished guests Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission and former Prime Minister of Latvia from 2009 to 2014, Enrique Barón Crespo, President of the European Parliament from 1989 to 1992, Hans-Gert Pöttering, … Continue reading

Democratic Change in Central and Eastern Europe 1989-90; the European Parliament and the end of the Cold War

In November 1989 the Berlin Wall came down. The disappearance of the most visible symbol of the Cold War was a turning point in post-war history and marked the beginning of a new era in Europe. Countries separated for decades by the Iron Curtain began to prepare for the transition to democracy and accession to … Continue reading

Historical Archives – 2014 at a glance

Written by Alexandra Devantier 2014 was an exciting year of rebranding and new visibility for the Historical Archives (formerly known as Archive and Documentation Centre, CARDOC), now part of the European Parliamentary Research Services. Through publications, events, exhibitions and info sessions we bring the fascinating world of our archives closer to all those willing to learn more about the … Continue reading

Visits to the European Parliament by spiritual leaders

Written by Claudia Touceira Da Silva See also the related publication: Les relations entre le Saint-Siège et les institutions européennes : un dialogue ouvert When visiting the Vatican in October 2013, European Parliament President Martin Schulz invited His Holiness Pope Francis to address Members during a formal sitting in Strasbourg on 25 November 2014. According to … Continue reading

The Echelon Affair: A History of the Investigation and its significance today

Written by Iolanda Mombelli Study: L’affaire Echelon : Les travaux du Parlement européen sur le système global d’interception, 1998-2002 The Echelon Affair: the EP and the global interception system 1998-2002 The Echelon system … unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the cold war, is designed for primarily non-military targets: governments, organisations and … Continue reading

From Santer to Barroso: how strongly EP supported them?

Written by Alexandra Devantier and Kristina Svobodova The new Juncker Commission has now been approved by the European Parliament and will start its term of office on 1 November 2014. In the European Parliament’s vote on Wednesday 23 October, the incoming Commission gained 423 votes in favour, 209 against, while 67 MEPs abstained. But do … Continue reading

From Hallstein to Prodi – Statements of Presidents of the European Commission before the European Parliament

Since the early days of the European Communities, it has always been the tradition for each new President of the Commission, on taking office, to deliver a general policy statement before the European Parliament.The Historical Archives Unit has gathered together these statements by Commission Presidents, from Walter Hallstein, President of the first Commission of the … Continue reading

Appointment of the Commission: Parliament’s role before 1995

Written by Alexandra Devantier In September 2014, the Commissioners-designate for the Juncker Commission will be required to appear before the European Parliament’s committees as part of the procedure for the approval of the European Commission. This will be the fifth set of hearings to be held since 1995. But what about the Commissions prior to … Continue reading

Historical Archives of the European Parliament

Many people think that archives are all about dust and old papers. At the Historical Archives of the European Parliament things are a little different. The Historical Archives of the EP manage and preserve official documents and other archival material which reflect the history and activities of the Parliament, dating back to 1952. The Archives … Continue reading

The first hemicycle of the European Parliament

During its first years of activity, the European Parliament held its plenary sittings in different locations, made available by other Institutions or by the hosting countries. It was only in 1973, with the construction of the Schuman building in Luxembourg, that the European Parliament decided to equip its premises with a hemicycle for its meetings. … Continue reading

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Disclaimer and Copyright statement

The content of all documents (and articles) contained in this blog is the sole responsibility of the author and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily represent the official position of the European Parliament. It is addressed to the Members and staff of the EP for their parliamentary work. Reproduction and translation for non-commercial purposes are authorised, provided the source is acknowledged and the European Parliament is given prior notice and sent a copy. Copyright © European Union, 2014. All rights reserved