The aim of this paper is to give a survey on the development and applications of evolutionary multi-agent systems (EMAS). The paper starts with a general introduction describing the background, structure and behaviour of EMAS. EMAS application to solving global optimisation problems is presented in the next section along with its modification targeted at lowering the computation costs by early removing certain agents based on immunological inspirations. Subsequent sections deal with the elitist variant of EMAS aimed at solving multi-criteria optimisation problems, and the co-evolutionary one aimed at solving multi-modal optimisation problems. Each variation of EMAS is illustrated with selected experimental results.