The Archives


Plenary session in Strasbourg in October 1978Plenary session in Strasbourg in October 1978 - vote © European Community 1978


The activity of the Archives is regulated by Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 354/1983 of 1 February 1983 (amended by Council Regulation (EU) No 2015/496 of 17 March 2015) on the opening to the public of the historical archives of the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. This regulation lays down a legal obligation for EU institutions to maintain archives and, after a certain period of time, to deposit those already ‘opened to the public’ in the common Historical Archives of the European Union (HAEU), which are located at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence. Article 9(2) of the regulation stipulates that ‘each institution shall publish information annually on its historical archiving activities'. The Annual Report of the Archives of the European Parliament is submitted to fulfil this obligation.

The European Parliament Archives Unit manages and preserves Parliament’s official documents and other archival material dating back to 1952, including the deposited documents of individual Members. Formally, as requested by the decision of Parliament's Bureau of 2 July 2012 on document management, the Unit is responsible for the acquisition, storage, processing, and accessibility of the official documents of the institution. It provides these documents both internally to the Members and administration, and externally to organisations and citizens, notably researchers and historians, through tools that facilitate online access to information. It assists researchers on the history of Parliament and of European integration, and publishes historical studies based on the archives, using ‘any means of documentary or academic dissemination or publishing’. It works closely with the HAEU in promoting the use of the archives and the study of Parliament's history.

What we do

The collection of documents is an essential aspect of the constitution and maintenance of archival heritage. Each year, the Archives of the European Parliament receive up to 1,000 linear metres of new documents.

The Archives store public documents created and received by Parliament as part of its activities and missions. The formats of documents in the fonds vary from paper or digital texts to photographs, audio or video recordings.

Once received, these documents are filed and labelled in order to remain accessible after archiving. They are distributed by creator and integrated into a hierarchical filing system, setting out the organisation and procedures of the institution.

All the documents are digitised and/or converted into PDF/A files in order to ensure their permanent conservation. Once transformed into the electronic format, the documents are stored in our database, in accordance with their classification and description.

The public archival fonds on paper are sent to the HAEU in Florence, while the restricted fonds are stored in our secured inventory stock in the Konrad Adenauer building in Luxembourg.