European Union Historical Archives
The Historical Archives was created in 1986 .The Historical Archives of the European Union, administered by the European University Institute, Florence, has the mission of acquiring, conserving and making available to the public the archives, which are over thirty years old, emanating from the European Community Institutions for Coal and Steel, the Common Market and Euratom (High Authority and European Commission, Council of Ministers, European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee and Court of Auditors).
The same stipulations also apply to the European Court of Justice, however there has yet to be a transfer of the Court's documents to Florence. Equally the HAEU is interested in receiving, in the form of deposits or private collections, the archives of important personalities, movements or international organisations which played an important role in the construction of Europe.
The Historical Archives of the European Communities opened its doors in 1986 with as its mandate, Decision No. 359/83 of the ECSC, 5th February 1983 and Regulation No. 354/83 of the EEC and Euratom, concerning the opening to the public of the historical archives of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Economic Community and Euratom, taking into consideration the standard delay of 30 years.
A contract was signed to this effect on the 17th December 1984 between the Commission of the EC, acting in the name of all the other Community institutions, and the European University Institute (created in 1976 by member states with the objective of accepting research students who were interested in European topics in a comparative perspective with the view towards obtaining a doctorate), whereby the latter was charged with preserving and making accessible the original documents sent by the archival services of the various institutions.
As a result, the original documents of the Community institutions which are over 30 years old, are transferred annually to Florence. However, microfilmed copies of the documents are kept in the originating institutions in Brussels and Luxembourg and are available for consultation there.
The Subsidy Convention concluded after 2000 and renewed every year, between the European Commission and the Institute, recognises the policy of the HAEU in "acquiring documents of historical value coming from private individuals or from public or private bodies".
This process involves collecting the papers of political personalities or important officials, of movements or international organisations which played an eminent role in the process which led to the construction of Europe and to gather microfilmed copies of documents held in other archival institutions which illustrate the various Community treaties negotiations.