It happened on 19 march

First meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg

Maison de l

On March 19, 1958, the 142 deputies of the newly formed European Parliamentary Assembly met for the first time in Strasbourg.

In its 50 years of existence the powers of the assembly, which decided to rename itself the European Parliament in 1962, have continued to evolve. From its origins as a mere consultative body, the Parliament is now fully engaged in the adoption of EU legislation. Its 785 members meet every month in plenary sessions in Strasbourg, the official seat of the Parliament.

The last European elections took place in June 2009 and had 736 MEPs including 72 French who were elected by direct universal suffrage.

More about the European Parliament

50 years of Parliament video

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Election of Robert Schuman to the presidency of the European Parliament

Robert Schuman

On March 19, 1958, the Frenchman Robert Schuman (Christian Democrat) was elected as President of the Common Assembly of the three European Communities (now Parliament).

In his first speech to the Assembly, Robert Schuman discussed the changes in the functioning of the institution since the entry into force of the Treaties of Rome. He highlighted the enhanced role of the Assembly since the beginnings of European integration.

It was also during this session that the Common Assembly, then composed of 142 members, adopted the name of the European Parliamentary Assembly. This name only became official with the entry into force of the Single European Act (SEA) in 1987.

See the video of the speech by Robert Schuman on March 18, 1958 on the site of the European Navigator

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