(2) For the sake of simplicity, the text will continue to work with the term 'European Parliament' also for the two representative bodies which directly preceded the establishment of the European Parliament, that is, the European Coal and Steel Community's Common Assembly (1952-1958) and the European Parliamentary Assembly
(1958-1962); the term 'European elections' will be used as a synonym for European Parliament elections.
Fifty years ago, on 19 March 1958, Strasbourg was the scene of the first constituent session of the European Parliamentary Assembly
. French-born Robert Schuman, former minister of foreign affairs, was elected as president by acclaim.
The period from 19 March 1958, the date of the constituent meeting' of the European Parliamentary Assembly
in Strasbourg, and 19 March 2008 is one marked by many important milestones on the road of European integration - ones which have had a significant impact on the lives of Europe's citizens.