Historical Archives of the European Union

The Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU), located in Florence ( Italy ), is the official archives for the historical documents of the Institutions of the European Union . [1] It is also a research center dedicated to the archival preservation and study of European integration and is part of the European University Institute (EUI). [2]

Legal Basis and History

The Historical Archives of the European Union was established in 1983 by the Council of the European Communities [3] and the decision by the Commission of the European Communities [4] to open their historical archives to the public. A subsequent agreement in 1984 between the Commission of the European Communities and the European Union for the Establishment of the Archives in Florence, [5] and the HAEU opened its doors to researchers and the public in 1986. In 2011 a Framework Partnership Agreement [6] ]The European Commission and the European Commission on the Protection of the European Union and the European Archives and the European Archives. In March 2015 the Council of the European Union of the decisions of 1983 with the Council Regulation (EU) 2015/496. [7]


The HAEU preserves and makes accessible to the archival holdings of EU Institutions and Agencies according to the 30 years rule governing access to archives of the European Union . It also collects and preserves private papers, international organizations involved in the European integration process. It facilitates research on the history of the European Union and its predecessor institutions, promotes public interest in European integration and enhances transparency in the functioning of European Union Institutions. [8] [9] [10]


The holdings are composed of funds from the European Institutions, their predecessor institutions and European Union Agencies.

Among its holdings are the archives of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), the Common Assembly of the ECSC, the European Parliamentary Assembly , the Court of Justice of the European Union , the Economic and Social Committee , the Court of Auditors , and the European Investment Bank .

It also holds private deposits and collections of individuals, organizations and associations that advocated, supported and implemented the Post-World War II European reconciliation and integration process. These holdings include the archival papers of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Western European Union (WEU), the European Council for Municipalities and Regions (CCRN), the European League for Economic Cooperation (LECE) and a unique collection of federalist archives, for example the European Movement (ME), the Union of European Federalists (UEF) and the ‚ International Center for European Training (CIFE)‘.

In the framework of the activities of the EU Inter-institutional Web Preservation Working Group and in collaboration with the Internet Memory Foundation, the HAEU has launched in 2013 an archiving pilot project on EU institutions‘ websites. These websites are captured quarterly since the end of 2013 and made available on the HAEU’s home page.


Since 2012, the HAEU has its seat at the historic ‚Villa Salviati ‚ in Florence.

‚Villa Salviati‘ is located on the Florentine hills along Via Bolognese and is named after one of its illustrious owners, Jacopo Salviati, who took possession of the estate in 1445. The Salviati family were wealthy wool merchants and bankers and during the 15th century closely connected to the Medici family. The villa and its gardens of 14 acres have been changed over the past two hundred years and have been owned by Italian, French, Swedish and American personalities.

Since 2000 Villa Salviati is a property of the Italian State and has been extensively restructured.

The President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano has inaugurated the opening of the Historical Archives of the European Union at ‚Villa Salviati‘ [11] [12] [13] [14] and in 2012 the Archives were operative.

Consulting Services and Research Assistance

The HAEU is present on the World Wide Web since 1995 and has developed into an online database since 1991. All inventories of fonds, collections and oral history programs are held by the HAEU and are published on the website. The News also publishes the information and the classification schemes of the institutional holdings on the ‚ Archives Portal EUROPE ‚ and it is linked to the social media Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

The digitization program of archival units and photographs of various funds and deposits launched in 2006 to 12,000 digitalized archival units. Likewise the 600 transcriptions of the European Oral History Program and many audio registrations can be accessed on the site.

The reading room at ‚Villa Salviati‘ is open to the public for consultation of its holdings. The facilities include a specialized reference library composed of 20,000 publications, printed documentation, gray literature and electronic publications.

Access to all archival documents, collections and interviews at the HAEU and available on line.

The HAEU hosts and organizes in collaboration with the EUI History Department and external partners research seminars, workshops and conferences. It proposes to be a meeting place between actors and researchers in European Integration matters. To this end, the HAEU co-directs with the EUI History Department of the Alcide De Gasperi Research Center for the History of European Integration , [15] which was inaugurated on May 6, 2015 in the presence of Alcide De Gasperi’s daughter Maria Romana De Gasperi. The Alcide De Gasperi Research Center aims at promoting innovative research projects and facilitates the use of primary sources. It also coordinates networks of scholars and promotes publications on the history of European integration.


  1. Jump up^ „Historical archives of EU institutions“ .
  2. Jump up^ Shaw, Claire (August 7, 2013). „Library futures: European University Institute, Italy“ . The Guardian .
  3. Jump up^ „Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 354/83 of 1 February 1983 concerning the opening to the public of the historical archives of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community“ .
  4. Jump up^ „Commission Decision No. 359/83 / ECSC of 8 February 1983 concerning the opening of the public of the historical archives of the European Coal and Steel Community“ .
  5. Jump up^ „Contract between the European Communities and the European University Institute“ (PDF) .
  6. Jump up^ „Framework Partnership Agreement“ (PDF) . Archived from the original(PDF) on 2014-09-14.
  7. Jump up^ „Council Regulation (EU) 2015/496 of 17 March 2015 amending Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 354/83 as regards the deposit of the historical archives of the institutions at the European University Institute in Florence“ .
  8. Jump up^ „Interview with the Director of the HAEU“ .
  9. Jump up^ „Exploring EU Foreign Policy“ .
  10. Jump up^ Kinzelbach, Katrin (2014). The EU’s Human Rights Dialogue with China: Quiet Diplomacy and Its Limits . Routledge. ISBN  978-0-415-69846-7 .
  11. Jump up^ „Inaugurazione Archivi Storici dell’UE“ . December 17, 2009.
  12. Jump up^ „Napolitano:“ Door aperte quei Paesi che vogliono aderire e deepen the adesione all’Unione Europea “ “ . December 17, 2009.
  13. Jump up^ „Firenze, Napolitano inaugura gli archivi storici dell’Union europea“ . December 17, 2009.
  14. Jump up^ „He presidente della Repubblica Giorgio Napolitano in Firenze“ . December 17, 2009.
  15. Jump up^ „Alcide De Gasperi Research Center on the History of European Integration“ .