Meeting of the Reconciliation of European Histories Group

On February the 28th, the Reconciliation of European Histories group had its first meeting of the New Year. At the meeting, group members as well as guests representing NGOs were addressed by Hungarian MEP Ágnes Hankiss on the condition of Member State archives related to the repressive apparatuses of former dictatorships and the role which the EU plays in preserving such archives. Mrs. Hankiss, the founder of an archive research institute in Hungary, described the complex differences in the legislation on archives in MS and the better and worse practices applied. She also made an overview of the existing EU documents on EU institutions archives and the efforts to promote the EU institutions archival procedures in MS. During the discussion Members expressed their opinion that the EU should have a greater say in how such archives are preserved, kept, and how the information is made accessible for researchers and the larger public, as auch archives are a valuable source for the common history ofEurope. Also, Members suggested that the issue of accessibility of archives in candidate countries should be addressed in future EU accession negotiations. The group decided to organize a hearing on the state of archives and the best practices in the MS in the latter part of the year.

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