Skip to content
Historical Archives of the European Union

Transfer news: Papers from the Davignon Cabinet

The Historical Archives of the European Union received 615 files from the Archives Service of the European Commission from the cabinet of European Commissioner Étienne Davignon, who served in the Jenkins Commission from 6 January 1977 until 5 January 1981.

23 June 2023 | Research


Fonds relating to the Roy Jenkins presidency of the European Commission were recently enriched with the transfer of 615 files from Commissioner Étienne Davignon’s cabinet. Under the Jenkins Commission, the Davignon Cabinet was assigned the Internal Market, Customs Union, and Industrial Affairs portfolios.

Researchers from various fields will find the Davignon Cabinet sub-series interesting for numerous reasons. It was a period in which the Commission’s influence and competencies were expanding. Moreover, the Davignon Cabinet’s mandate coincided with the first elections of the European Parliament by universal suffrage; the papers related to inter-institutional papers are thus significant.

Davignon also took charge of the supervision of the industrial affairs and energy offices to stimulate recovery from the 1970s oil crisis. The files illustrate the Davignon Cabinet's efforts to give new impetus to the aerospace and automotive sectors, as well as other major economic sectors, such as steel, construction, pharmaceutical chemistry, electronics, and shipbuilding. Infrastructure and communications were also priorities.

Several files provide an insider’s view of Commisioner Davignon’s perseverance in negotiating with Member State delegations. Also of note are the series dealing with external relations with the United States, Japan and other countries in Asia, other third countries, and with large international organisations.

In 2022 the Historical Archives Service of the European Commission published the volume Cabinet Davignon 1977-1981: Sous la Commission Jenkins. The book describes the inventory of the archives of Commissioner Etienne Davignon’s Cabinet, in French. The publication is available here.

Consult files from the Davignon Cabinet at the Historical Archives of the European Union here.


Photo: Willy Hélin, Member of the Spokesperson Group of the CEC, Commissioner Etienne Davignon, Manuel Santarelli, Spokesperson of the CEC (from left to right). Source: EC Audiovisual Service © European Communities, 1980

Last update: 23 June 2023

Go back to top of the page