Recent theoretical progress in understanding the effect of noble metal nanoparticles on the luminescent properties of europium complex was reviewed. The observed enhancement fluorescence results from surface-enhanced fluorescence (SEF) based on the surface plasmon resonance (SPR) of noble metal nanoparticles. And the observed quenching fluorescence is attributed to the re-absorption of surface plasmon resonance and noble metal nanoparticles scattering. And then the enhancing and quenching effects strongly depend on size, shape, concentration, surrounding medium of noble metal nanoparticle and the structure of europium complex. Furthermore, the mechanism of surface-enhanced fluorescence, and physical process between noble metal nanoparticles and europium complex were also discussed in detail. These discussions are very important to further improve enhancement factor, which is key to application in optical materials for the surface-enhanced fluorescence phenomenon of noble metal nanoparticles.