European Parliamentary Research Service

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The European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) is the in-house research department and think tank of the European Parliament. Created in November 2013 as a directorate-general within the Parliament's permanent administration, the EPRS's mission is to assist Members of the European Parliament and parliamentary committees by providing them with independent, objective analysis.[1] It is divided in three main Directorates: Members' Research Service (Directorate A), Library (Directorate B) and Impact Assessment and European Added Value (Directorate C).[2] In addition, there are two horizontal Units that deal with Strategy and Coordination, and Resources. EPRS is headed by Director-General Anthony Teasdale.


Directorate A, the Members’ Research Service (MRS), undertakes the EPRS's research for individual MEPs and produces a wide variety of general analytical publications on EU issues for the Parliament as a whole. Directorate B, the Library, manages the European Parliament’s Reading Rooms in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, which are also used as a venue for policy roundtables. Directorate C, the Directorate for Impact Assessment and European Added Value, conducts specialist studies in ex-ante and ex-post policy evaluation for the Committees of the European Parliament.[3][4] All publications by EPRS are available freely for general public.[5]

The creation of the EPRS may be explained by the desire in the early 2010s to see a "[…] a more rational organization" of the European Parliament's permanent administration, notably of DG Presidency, which dealt at the time "with a number of not necessarily related matters (security services, library and lawyer linguists); in this context the Library could be separated from DG Presidency and developed into a new Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services, with about 200 staff, by bringing together, in a budgetary neutral way" existing services with an analytical focus. [6]


The Directorate for the Members' Research Service (Directorate A) provides all Members of the European Parliament with independent, objective and authoritative analysis of, and research on, EU-related policy issues, in order to assist them in their parliamentary work. The MRS is organised into five policy units, following the standard committee groupings used within the Parliament’s administration. These units cover respectively: economic policies (EPOL); structural policies (SPOL); citizens' policies (CPOL), budgetary policies (BPOL); and external policies (XPOL). Its policy analysts and information specialists are at Members’ disposal to support them in their work on all policy issues dealt with by the Parliament or the EU institutions as a whole. The work and output of the five policy units is supported by a central Publications Management and Editorial Unit (PMEU), which also serves EPRS as a whole.[7]

The analysis or research produced by the Members' Research Service follow two different logics, they are either prepared on a specific request basis by an MEP or most likely, by one of their assistants, or the EPRS drafts the paper on a proactive basis.

The Directorate for the Library (Directorate B) provides a wide range of services to Members individually and to the Parliament as a whole. It operates the Library Reading Rooms in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, housing the Parliament’s extensive physical and digital collection of books and journals, which it acquires and manages. It provides online access to subscription-based publications for and throughout the Parliament as a whole. It maintains the institution’s historical archives and answers citizens’ enquiries about both the Parliament and the EU generally. The Directorate for the Library is organised in four units: On-site and Online Library Services Unit, Comparative Law Library Unit, Historical Archives Unit, and Citizens’ Enquiries (AskEP) Unit.[7]

The Library hosts events throughout the year, including EPRS policy roundtables, conferences, and book launches. Various MEPs are invited to speak at the conferences and alongside MEPs, other notable political figures, the experts and policy analysts of the EPRS often also constitute the panel.

The EPRS' services in the fields of Impact Assessment and European Added Value (Directorate C) help to strengthen the European Parliament's capacity for scrutiny and oversight of the executive at the successive stages of the legislative and policy cycles - from the evolution and proposition of EU law and policy to its implementation, enforcement and effectiveness in practice – so contributing to the quality of law-making itself. This work is designed to support parliamentary committees in the successive stages of the policy cycle - including the identification, quantification and justification of parliamentary initiatives, and on the implementation and effectiveness of EU law and policies in practice. It therefore contributes to the Parliament's influence on policy development, as well as to improving the overall quality of the law-making process.

The Directorate is organised in six units: European Added Value, Ex-Ante and Ex-Post Impact Assessment Units, European Council Oversight, Scientific Foresight (STOA) and Global Trends Unit.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ At your service. European Parliament, retrieved on 5 April 2018,
  2. ^ European Parliament, The Secretary-General. Creating the European Parliament Research Service, 14 November 2013.
  3. ^ European Parliamentary Research Service. The Work of EPRS – The first three years: 2014 to 2016, March 2017,
  4. ^ Corbett, Richard; Jacobs, Francis; Neville, Darren (2016). The European Parliament (9 ed.). London: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9934549-5-0.
  5. ^ Think Tank of the European Parliament.
  6. ^ European Parliament, Bureau. Minutes of the Meeting 20-05-2013, PE 508.840/BUR/, 20 May 2013
  7. ^ a b Christie, Aidan (2014). Creating the new European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS). Paper for 30th Pre-Conference of IFLA Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments, 25 July 2014.
  8. ^ Wolfs, Wouter (2016). The European Parliamentary Research Service: An In-House Think Tank to Strengthen an Institution, Panel on Decision-Making in the European Parliament, European Consortium for Political Research, 2016.

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