The European Youth Parliament was founded in 1987 as a school project at the Lycée François-Premier in Fontainebleau, just south of Paris. The first «International Session» of the EYP was also held there, in 1988.
Ever since, the EYP project has steadily developed to include more countries and schools. In 1991, international coordination of the project moved to Witney, Oxfordshire, where it was run by Bettina Carr-Allinson (NL). The organisation experienced enduring growth for the next decade, evolving from a project associated predominantly with schools to a youth-led network, with National Committees and activities becoming larger and more numerous.
In 2004, the National Committees of the EYP mandated the Schwarzkopf Foundation to act as the international umbrella organisation of the EYP. The coordination of the network moved to Berlin and Philipp Scharff (DE) became the first full-time Executive Director of the EYP. He was succeeded by Jan-Philipp Beck (DE) in 2008, by Ville Vasaramäki (FI) in 2011 and Krista Simberg (FI) in 2013. Since 2017, Lukas Fendel (DE) has been the Executive Director of the EYP.
Since 2004, the EYP has continued to grow, involving young people from virtually all European countries in its activities. The European Youth Parliament is one of the largest organisations for non-formal political education in Europe.