The Commission continues to believe that “the EDCs are key points of information” and are clearly an important element in the future policies regarding information in the Union.

Reply to Romano Prodi in the name of the Commission (22 March 2002).
“JOCE C 301 E (5/12/2002) 31.

The European Documentation Centres (EDCs) play a crucial role in supporting teaching and research regarding European integration, as they not only handle and promulgate official publications for which they are the depositories, but also act as pro-active agents in the search for community information. These centres were first created in the Member States and other countries beginning in 1963, at institutions of higher education and research, by Convention with the European Commission.

Arts Quad

Detail form the EDC’s reading room - Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa

Initially directed toward the academic and scientific communities, today the EDCs are catalysing agents of European Commission transparency vis-à-vis the citizen.

In Portugal, the EDCs are the earliest Centres in the network of European Information Organisms, whose origin goes back to 1974. Today there are 19 centres in Portugal – 16 on the Continent and 3 in the islands of Madeira and the Azores.

The current coordination of the PNEDC, which has been in place since 2001, is exercised jointly by the Directors of the Universidade Lusíada EDC and the Instituto Nacional de Administração EDC. Plans for 2003 call for moving ahead with the creation of a National Database of European Information, with the goal of aiding knowledge production in Portugal and making Community information that currently resides in diverse public and private locations available on the PNEDC, and to build the new web site for the Portuguese network.