EU Parliament turns 70

The EU Parliament, first convened in the autumn of 1952 as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, is marking its 70th anniversary. At the time, members were appointed by national parliaments rather than directly elected. Europe's press emphasises the steadily growing importance of the legislative body.

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Le Point (FR) /

Stamina called for

The Parliament is the integrative force in an EU policy marked by contradictions, Le Point comments:

“The Parliament has adopted the role of 'ever more': ever more Europe, ever more EU funds, ever more rights for citizens, ever more environmental ambitions... And on the other side, the Council plays the role of the bogeyman: less money, less ambition, more influence for the states. This is how European democracy works, where opposites balance each other out every day in an uninterrupted series of compromises. To be able to blow out its 80, 90 or 100 [birthday] candles one day, the European Parliament will need the people to show a lot of stamina.”

Salzburger Nachrichten (AT) /

No small miracle

The EU Parliament has become a key player in European politics and society, the Salzburger Nachrichten reports:

“Little by little, the institution has fought for democratic co-determination in Europe. Today it's only normal that the Council of the 27 EU governments and the supranational Parliament have equal status in almost all areas of legislation. Both must agree on a text before it can come into force, and the Parliament almost always pushes through amendments on topics ranging from budgets to trade agreements. ... Created only a few years after the end of the Nazi regime that swept across Europe bringing war, racial hatred, nationalism, mass murder and the Shoah, the Parliament has become a stable co-legislator respected by all EU states. That is no small miracle.”