In terms of the period of time covered, the cut off points of this project lie in 1950 (the Schuman plan for the ECSC) on the one hand, and in 1986 (the accession of Spain and Portugal to the EC; the signing of the Single European Act), on the other. See the introduction to these source materials.
Within this time period, the research was set up in three modules that cover separate time periods. Module 1 covers 1945 to 1957. Module 2 covers 1957 to 1973. Module 3 covers 1973 to 1986. The sources will be made available in phases from September 1st 2009.
Accessibility of the sources
The sources are accessible in steps. In the first instance, users are led to brief summaries of the documents. These offer the possibility of clicking through to files containing the complete text from the archives. The documents are shown in PDF format, and are insofar as technology allows this (particularly in the case of older documents), made (partially) searchable at word level via OCR processing. It is possible to search using overall themes, keywords, persons, geographical terms and ranges of dates.
The core of the source material is made up of archival material of the Dutch government. Although for the most part coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, various other ministries were directly and indirectly involved in European policy. However, the policy implemented by The Hague was the result of interaction with the policies of other EC Member States. It was influenced by consultation structures and institutions at the European level. The aim is to include foreign material as well as a supplement to research into the Dutch archives.