The Historical Archives of the European Commission were created in the early 1980s. In view of their importance they became part of the Commission's Secretariat-General in 1989. Following an internal reorganisation of the Commission's archives services in 2005 the Historical Archives were transferred to the Office for Infrastructures and Logistics (OIB) in Brussels to focus on the internal archives work of the Commission. The Secretariat-General remains responsible for records management and archival policy. The Historical Archives Service is responsible for the management of the central repositories and the processing of files transferred to the historical archives by Commission departments. It therefore acts as an intermediate archive for the Commission departments and helps to ensure that the Commission's historical archives are open to the public in accordance with the 30-year rule.
After processing the archives that are open to the public in accordance with the access regulations below, are deposited at the European University Institute in Florence. Microform copies of these files as well as files that are older than 30 years but have not yet been fully processed can be consulted in the reading room of the Commission's Historical Archives Service in Brussels. The new reading room was inaugurated on 19 April 2007 by the Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission, Alexander Italianer (speech [57 KB] ).
The Commission's historical archives are open to the public after 30 years in accordance with the provisions of Commission Decision 359/83/ECSC of 8 February 1983 and Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1700/2003 of 22 September 2003 amending Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 354/83. Access to documents less than 30 years old can be requested in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 .