Eamonn Noonan examines the European Parliament promotion of international human rights since 1979. How has this contributed to the development of EU law, policy and practice? What factors influenced the choice of priority themes and cases? What limitations mitigated the Parliament’s impact? At a time when invasion and coup attempts challenge the existence of democratic states, the near-term prospects for the Parliament’s human rights work will also be considered. The talk is based on an ongoing study of EP acts and proceedings.