Commemorating the European Parliament's 70 years since its first meeting, the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola addressed the Plenary Session in Strasbourg. In her speech, she said that today, more than ever, it is important to uphold the democratic voice of citizens and the democratic European values that the European Parliament stands for.
© European Union | The President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola
This week, 70 years ago, on the 10th September 1952, here in Strasbourg, Paul-Henri Spaak presided over the opening of the first ever session of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. It was the starting point of the parliament in which we meet today.
In 70 years, the Assembly has grown from strength to strength. From being a consultative body with limited powers, it became a true institution embracing European democracy and the expression of European public opinion.
In 1962, it changed name and became ‘the European Parliament’, a further step towards becoming the only directly elected, multilingual, multi-party transnational parliament in the world.
Over time, consecutive treaties allowed this House - with its three places of work in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg - to develop into a powerful, independent, political forum with co-legislative and budgetary powers that impact millions of European citizens.
With an ongoing illegal war in Ukraine that destroys, kills and undermines the political will of a people, we know, today more than ever, the importance of upholding the democratic voice of citizens and the democratic European values that this House stands for.
And that is why, from this month until next summer 2023, a number of commemorative events will be helt at the European Parliament to mark the European Parliament’s 70th anniversary.
And to begin with, this weekend, the European Parliament in Strasbourg will open its doors to the 2022 edition of 'Bibliothèques idéales' – 'Ideal Libraries' with interviews, book talks and readings that will take place right here. Because European books, art and culture are also part of what unites Europe.
Further events will be announced through the coming months and in particular an official acknowledgement of this 70-year milestone for European democracy will take place during the November 2022 Plenary Session.