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Research Activities

Sources on the History of European Law


The collective research project: ‘Towards a New History of European Public Law’ funded by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation and placed at the University of Copenhagen will in the period from 2013-2015 produce a new body of historical literature dealing with the history of European public law from 1950 to 1993. An inherent part of the project is to uncover and make available new archival sources to the history of European public law to the broader academic community. In addition the project intends to produce an oral history of the legal service of the European Commission from 1958 to 1986. It is to further these specific aims that ‘Towards a New History of European Public Law’ and the Historical Archives agree to collaborate.

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Looking West: the European Socialist regimes facing pan-European cooperation and the European Community (PanEur1970s)


PanEur1970s is a five-year project (2015-2020) – based at the European University Institute (EUI) – to investigate the European Socialist regimes’ expectations and predicaments vis-à-vis the opening of a space of pan-European cooperation in the long 1970s.

The project intends to provide a historical appraisal of the late Socialist élites’ views of their countries’ place and prospects in an emerging space of trans-European connections that presented them with new patterns of exchange and potential regional integration while challenging existing configurations of stability, political control and ideological self-legitimization. PanEur1970s is particularly interested in exploring how the elites of the European socialist regimes conceived and rationalised their increasing economic exchanges with, and deepening financial dependence from, Western Europe.

PanEur1970s has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) through and Advanced Research Grant, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant Agreement n. 669194).

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The European Commission (1986-2000) – History and Memories of an Institution


In 2007 and 2014, the European Commission published two volumes of the “History of the European Commission”, covering the period from the founding of the European Communities (1958) until the signing of the European Single Act (1986). Following these successful publications, the Histcom3 project aims at gathering first-hand accounts and original archival sources, so as to publish a third inside story of the European Commission from 1986 to 2000.

Hitcom3 is coordinated by an international European network of academics, led by Professor Vincent Dujardin of the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, which include:

  • Eric Bussière (Université de Paris-Sorbonne/Paris IV)
  • Piers Ludlow (London School of Economics)
  • Federico Romero (European University Institute)
  • Antonio Varsori (Università di Padova)
  • Dieter Schlenker (Historical Archives of the European Union, European University Institute)

Between 2015 and 2018, forty-two researchers belonging to several European universities will gather first hand sources, including a large number of interviews with former Commissioners and officials, with a view to writing a collective volume focusing on the administrative, economic, social, and international dimensions of the European Commission from 1986 to 2000. The Alcide De Gasperi Research Centre is actively involved in the project and will cooperate actively with the consortium of researchers to coordinate interviews and provide access to primary archival sources stored at the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence. 

Page last updated on 04 December 2015