Have a look a look back at the first constituent meeting of the European Parliament held in Strasbourg on 19 March 1958.
The European Parliament of 2008 has wide decision-making powers on legislation, the budget and control and scrutiny of the European Commission. In fact, the European Parliament is unique in the world. There is no other directly elected supra-national parliament with such wide-ranging power.
Once and if the Lisbon Treaty was ratified, the European Parliament, following the elections in June 2009, was composed of 751 MEPs with its powers once more enlarged.