Posted on 17 February 2016
The Jacques Delors Institute is opening the personal archives of its founding President to the consultation of researchers and observers interested in the history of the European Project in order to shed light on the European Union today, and how to confront the challenges it faces.
Some figures on the Jacques Delors Archives – Presidency of the European Commission (1984-1994)
- 2 000 personal archival files
- 10 years of European history
- 7 places of consultation in Europe
A never before seen collection of documents
Jacques Delors left a portion of his personal archives to the Jacques Delors Institute: they correspond to his years as President of the European Commission. The Jacques Delors Archives – Presidency of the European Commission (1984-1994) was assembled and established by Jacques Delors’s own colleagues when he acted as President of the European Commission between 1985 and 1994.
The collection is composed of three large document categories (mostly written in French, but also in English, German, Japanese, etc.):
- The texts of speeches and interventions by Jacques Delors: Created throughout these ten years, these documents are essentially transcripts of speeches delivered during public and private events, and in institutional meetings (notably the European Council).
- Documents relating to the press and media: These include articles written by Jacques Delors, the numerous interviews he conducted with the European and international press, as well as press releases highlighting his EU-related activities. These documents fall mostly within the first half of the collection (before 1990).
- Preparatory notes and reports relating to high-level meetings: These are documents written by Jacques Delors’s collaborators, sometimes accompanied by his own comments. They also include annotations and hand-written reflections from Jacques Delors. Many of these documents are found in the second half of the collection (After 1990).
In addition to these types of document, certain correspondences from Jacques Delors are also present in the collection. The collection of his correspondences as President of the European Commission is conserved by the Archives of the European Commission.
The Jacques Delors Archives – Presidency of the European Commission (1984-1994) will soon be completed with the addition of documents left to the Jacques Delors Institute by his main Brussels colleagues, and notably Pascal Lamy.
A collection representing a rich period in European history
The Jacques Delors Archives – Presidency of the European Commission (1984-1994) is comprised of documents relating to the issues and debates surrounding the European Construction.
Certain documents echo the negotiations and conclusion of the Single European Act, and therefore the establishment of the Single Market, the reinforcement of social Europe, and the expansion of the European budget.
Other documents concern the negotiation and signing of the Treaty of Maastricht: they shed light on the economic, political, and institutional stakes linked to the creation of the European Union and the establishment of the Economic and Monetary Union.
The Jacques Delors Archives also illustrate the role of the Commission in the German reunification and the economic and political transition of the former-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. They also echo Middle Eastern conflicts including the Gulf War, as well as the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Also including documents concerning the accession of Spain and Portugal, these archives show parallels with the treatment of applications from Central Europe, Malta, and Cyprus.
Another significant portion refers to the negotiation of the Uruguay Round, starting in 1986, in the framework of the GATT negotiations. Also present are preparation documents for the White Paper, “Growth, Competitiveness, Employment: The Challenges and Ways Forward into the 21st Century.”
Tools and places of consultation
The inventory of the Jacques Delors Archives – Presidency of the European Commission (1984-1994) is comprised of nearly 2000 digital documents in PDF format, assembled through a partnership between the Historical Archives of the European Union (EUI Florence) and the Jacques Delors Institute. They are a reproduction of the 13.6 meters’ worth of physical folders held by the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris.
Consultable online, this inventory is structured chronologically, in order to correspond to the four sections of the original paper collection:
- Designation to the Presidency of the EC Commission
- First Delors Commission
- Second Delors Commission
- Third Delors Commission
To consult the archival documents identified by the inventory, it is necessary to contact the academic actors and foundations with established partnerships with the Jacques Delors Institute. These are currently the following:
- Belgium: College of Europe (Bruges)
- France Sciences Po Center for History (Paris)
- Italy: Historical Archives of the European Union (Florence)
- Poland: College of Europe (Natolin)
- Switzerland: Jean Monnet Foundation (Lausanne)
The collection can also be consulted upon request in the premises of the Jacques Delors Institute in Paris and in the premises of its German desk, the Jacques Delors Institute – Berlin.
All documents of the Jacques Delors Archives are accessible under the conditions defined by Regulation No. 354/83 of the Council pertaining to the opening of historical archives of the EEC and Euratom. Concessions may be given on a case-by-case basis for the consultation of items still covered by the 30-year limit.
Consult the Jacques Delors archives inventory