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AASM: In 1963, 18 Associated African States and Madagascar (AASM) signed the Yaoundé Convention (20.07.1963) with the EEC.
ACP: this acronym covers the region known as "Africa, Caribbean, Pacific". The region has a special relationship with the European Union under cooperation, humanitarian assistance and customs agreements.
ADD: Addendum. This suffix is used in the numbering of Council documents to denote additions (addenda). Generally speaking, documents with the suffix "ADD" contain the additional text only and are available only in the language(s) concerned.
AMD: Amendment. This suffix is used in the numbering of Council documents to indicate that an amendment has been made to the text. Generally speaking, documents with the suffix "AMD" contain the text of the proposed amendment only and are available only in the language(s) concerned.
Archive collections: the GSC historical archive files are contained in archive collections in accordance with the legal basis defining the broad lines of Community and subsequently European Union action. The different collections kept in the GSC central archives are as follows.
CM1: files on the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), as defined by the Treaty of Paris (1952), and its development from inception to expiry.
CM2: files on the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC), as defined by the Treaties of Rome (1957), and their development until the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht.
CM3: files on the negotiation of intergovernmental agreements (mainly the Treaties of Rome and the Convention).
CM4: files on the development of the European Communities from the Treaty of Maastricht to the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon.
CM5: files on the successive enlargements (accession of third countries).
CM6: files on the Yaoundé Convention, the Lomé Convention and the Cotonou Agreement, containing documents on the Associated African States and Madagascar (AASM) and the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific States).
CM7: files on the EEA (European Economic Area) and on Association Councils between the European Union and third countries.
CM8: files on the development of the European Union since the Treaty of Lisbon.
CASE: Central Archives Search Engine; our search engine allows you to search our collections of historical archive files.
- Council of Ministers. Name previously used for the different forms of the institution now called the Council of the European Union.
- Reference for the different collections kept by the GSC central archives.
COR: Corrigendum. This suffix is used in the numbering of Council documents to denote a correction. Generally speaking, documents with the suffix "COR" contain the relevant sentences only and are available only in the language(s) concerned.
COREPER: Committee of Permanent Representatives of the Member States.
Cotonou (Agreements): the Cotonou Agreements signed in 2000 take over from the Lomé Convention in respect of economic partnerships concluded between the ACP region and the EU.
Current archives: name given to the first stage in the life cycle of GSC documents, from their production up to roughly five years after the files are opened, at which point they become intermediate archives. These documents are processed by the current archives teams who describe them and classify them in files by DG. At the end of this stage, management of the files is transferred to intermediate archives.
D: German (deutsch), referring to the language of documents up to 1972.
DA: Danish, referring to the language of documents in the official languages as from 1973.
DE: German (deutsch), referring to the language of documents as from 1973.
DG: Directorate-General. The GSC is divided into functional DGs.
Digitisation: the action of converting a paper medium into, most frequently, a digital medium, or at least into an image for display on a screen. A more advanced "optical character recognition" processing technique also makes it possible to recover the text associated with the image (copy/paste). Under our digitisation project, the conversion is from microfiche to PDF/A format with OCR (as far as possible).
Certain documents bear numbers, attributed either by the Council or the partner institutions.
These numbers allow the documents to be uniquely identified.
Certain numbers are taken over by the Council's central archives unit for the processing of historical archives: all Council document numbers and all Commission COM or SEC documents.
- Council document numbers are composed of at least one serial number followed by the year (e.g.: 1/1974).
There may also be prefixes indicating the conditions of production. However, the meaning of some seems to have evolved over time and all documents produced under the same conditions do not necessarily have the same prefix attributed to them.
Suffixes are also sometimes attributed to the numbers. They, generally speaking, indicate developments in a document subsequent to its registration.
- The numbers may be used in CASE to find documents in searches for a "Council document" or a "Commission (COM/SEC) document".
Document: "any content whatever its medium (written on paper or stored in electronic form or as a sound, visual or audiovisual recording) concerning a matter relating to the policies, activities and decisions falling within the institution's sphere of responsibility" (Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents).
EAEC: European Atomic Energy Community, or EURATOM.
Together with EEC documents, EAEC documents from the Treaties of Rome (1957) and their development up to the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht constitute CM2.
- European Communities. The term for all three Communities together (ECSC, EEC and EAEC)
- European Community. Replaced the EEC with the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1993.
- European Commission.
ECSC: European Coal and Steel Community.
CM1 contains documents produced by the ECSC, as defined by the Treaty of Paris (1952), and on its development from inception to expiry in 2002.
EEA: the Treaty on the European Economic Area was signed on 2 May 1992 between the EU and EFTA. It entered into force gradually as from 1 January 1994.
EEC: European Economic Community.
Together with EAEC documents, EEC documents from the Treaties of Rome (1957) and their development up to the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht constitute CM2.
EESC or ESC: Economic and Social Committee. The ESC became the European Economic and Social Committee after the entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht.
EFTA: the Economic Free Trade Association was established by the Stockholm Convention of 4 January 1960 between Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
EIB: European Investment Bank.
EL: Greek (elliniká), referring to the language of documents in the official languages as from 1981.
EN: English, referring to the language of documents in the official languages as from 1973.
EP: European Parliament.
EPC: European Political Community.
ES: Spanish, referring to the language of documents in the official languages as from 1986.
ESTAF: EaST AFrican Countries.
EU: European Union. This name entered into force at the same time as the Treaty of Maastricht. It follows the names European Economic Community (EEC) and European Community (EC).
EUI: European University Institute.
The European University Institute in Florence is where the European Union's historical archives are kept in accordance with the deposits contract of 17 December 1984 between the EC and the EUI.
EURATOM: see EAEC.
F: French (français), referring to the language of documents up to 1972.
File: all documents kept for the handling of a matter by a physical or moral person in the performance of their duties. A GSC central archives file is placed in a sub-collection belonging to a collection. It consists of folders with dividers containing documents. It is attributed a UDC code.
FR: French (français), referring to the language of documents as from 1973.
GSC: General Secretariat of the Council. This is the Council administration which produced the archives presented here.
Historical archives: name given to the third archiving stage in the life cycle of GSC documents when files reach the 30-year age limit. Once they are definitively processed and copied onto microfiche or digital media, the original historical archives are sent to the EUI in Florence, and the historical archives unit will then supply copies only. Only definitively classified historical archives are available online. In the reading room you will also have access to some descriptions of unclassified historical archives contained in the intermediate archives owing to a processing delay or historical archives not yet having been digitised.
I: Italian, referring to the language of documents up to 1972.
Intermediate archives: name given to the second stage in the life cycle of GSC documents, when current archive files have either been closed or have become obsolete or out-of-date but have not yet become historical archives.
The team continues to supplement the files received from current archives by adding and describing documents as they are produced.
Once files reach the 30-year limit, they are transferred to historical archives.
IT: Italian, referring to the language of documents as from 1973.
JHA: Justice and Home Affairs (Council formation).
Linear kilometres : the unit of measurement for the growth of archives. A standard archives box measures 10 linear centimetres. The measurement is taken on the spine.
Lomé (convention de): concluded for five years in 1975, the Lomé Convention forms the basis for trade cooperation between the EEC and 46 ACP countries. It was renewed in 1979 (Lomé II with 57 signatory countries), in 1984 (Lomé III with 66 signatory countries) and in 1990 (Lomé IV with 70 signatory countries).
Microfiche: medium for the storage and communication of images of the historical archives classified in the GSC. These are the microfiches digitised in the digitisation project.
NL: Dutch, referring to the language of documents.
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
OCR: optical character recognition. Computer translation of a text image in a text file, rendering the text useable by a computer system. Although always imperfect and sometimes misleading, OCR makes it possible to supplement description searches by a full-text search.
OJ: Official Journal.
PDF/A: Portable Document Format / Archives. Computer format used in the GSC central archives for the publication of digitised archive files and which associates the document image with the OCR-generated text.
PT: Portuguese, referring to the language of documents in the official languages as from 1986.
REV: Revised. This suffix is used in the numbering of Council documents to indicate that the text has been revised.
UDC: Universal Decimal Classification. Method for the hierarchical codification of subjects.
UN: United Nations.
UNESCO: usual name for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Yaoundé: on 20 July 1963, 18 AAMS signed the Yaoundé Convention with the EEC. It was replaced by the Lomé Conventions in 1975.
Year: the year of a file in the GSC's historical archives refers to the file's date of closure and not to the date of the documents contained therein.