'Spain and the European integration process: converging pathways' project
One of the main results of the project is the creation and publication of a digital research corpus and subject file, both incorporated into the dedicated research and teaching platforms at www.cvce.eu. The research corpus and subject file, which will be subject to a peer review process conducted by a steering committee of external experts, will include a selection of relevant resources for their respective target audiences (the research community and the teaching and lifelong learning communities), including varied and often previously unpublished material in several languages and from a wide range of archives, as well as sources created by the CVCE research team.
A wide range of sources
The preliminary results of the digital research corpus combine public domain sources with documents from Spanish and international archives, including institutional texts, academic contributions, graphs and statistics, press articles, photographs, cartoons, videos, interactive maps and diagrams and a selected bibliography.
Documentary research has been conducted in several European countries for this project, often making it possible to re-establish links and correlations between documents kept in geographically distant locations. Initial research efforts have focused on sources that represent the various aspects of historical analysis on as many levels as possible, offering opposing and complementary viewpoints and encompassing all the document types enumerated above. More specifically, documents have been selected from the Archives of the Council of the European Union and of the European Commission in Brussels, the Archives of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the Historical Archives of the European Union in Florence, the European Parliament Information Office in Madrid, the European Commission Representation in Madrid, the General Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (AGMAEC) in Madrid, the Documentation Centre and Library of the State Secretariat for European Union in Madrid, the Archives of the Congress of Deputies in Madrid, and the General Archive of the Administration (AGA) in Alcalá de Henares.
Throughout this process, we have been grateful for the advice and assistance of the experts working at these archives and documentation centres. We would especially like to mention the quality of the support provided by Alfonso Dávila, Director of the AGA, and his colleagues Juan José Villar and Daniel Gonzalbo, as well as all those who helped make the research process a pleasant experience. Our particular thanks go to the Deputy Director of the State Archives of the Ministry of Culture. We would also like to thank the Director of the Documentation Centre and Library of the State Secretariat for European Union, Isabel Herrero-Botas, Flores Pallardó and Pilar Real, for their commitment to our project, their advice, their considerable documentary contribution and the pleasure of working alongside them. We are also grateful to Pilar Casado, Head of the AGMAEC reading room, for her continued support, her systematic cooperation during the documentary selection process and her kindness at all times. Our particular thanks go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. We thank Maria Rosario Martínez-Cañavate and all the staff at the Archives of the Congress of Deputies who gave us such effective guidance in identifying and processing relevant sources. Finally, we would particularly like to thank the Director of the European Parliament Information Office in Spain, Ignacio Samper, for his documentary contribution and the interview that he granted us, as well as the Director of the European Commission Representation in Spain, Francisco Fonseca, for his oral account on the theme of this project.
A project under constant development
The ‘Spain and the European integration process' research project, which will be progressively developed and will reach its culmination at the end of 2013, is due to include a series of academic activities and communication events for a wide range of audiences. The project's official launch, which coincided with the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2010, laid the foundations for fruitful cooperation with academic, cultural and research institutions that are keen to contribute to the creation and dissemination of sources on Spain's role in the European integration process and the interactive and dynamic nature of Europe's common history.
Methodology and approach
The main lines of research of the CVCE project 'Spain and the European integration process' cover the following areas and address Spain's European policy from various angles:
- Spain's impact on and contributions to the process of European integration.
- The modalities of Europeanisation in Spain.
- A cross-comparison of Spanish and European views on Spain's European dimension.
The first line of research analyses Spain's impact on the European integration process and its contributions to this process. One major objective in this area is to assess the impact of Spain's accession to the European Communities and its interaction with other European organisations, especially by analysing Spain's contributions to that process, an area of research that remains unexplored and that will be addressed in a very innovative way.
The second examines the impact of the European integration process in Spain; in other words, the country's progressive Europeanisation. The concept of Europeanisation is understood as a process of '(a) construction, (b) diffusion, and (c) institutionalisation of formal and informal rules, procedures, policy paradigms, styles, "ways of doing things", and shared beliefs and norms which are first defined and consolidated in the making of EU public policy and politics and then incorporated in the logic of domestic discourse, identities, political structures, and public policies' (see Radaelli, C., ‘The Europeanization of Public Policy', in Featherstone K., Radaelli C. (Ed), The Politics of Europeanization, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 30). Accordingly, this section focuses on areas related to the adjustment of the Spanish system of government and its policies to the European integration process, without excluding other related topics.
The third line of research undertakes a cross-comparison of Spanish and European views on Spain's European dimension. The aim here is to chart the change in perceptions, expectations and considerations of government bodies, civil society and Spanish public opinion in relation to the concepts, strategies and implementation of public policies resulting from the European integration process in Spain. This approach also seeks to identify vectors of change from different European perspectives in various Member States, in the European institutions and among European public opinion in relation to Spain's interests and the particularities of Spain's accession to the European Communities, together with the country's role in the European integration process.
From a methodological perspective, the forthcoming analysis which will accompany the publication of the relevant and structured primary sources will be based on critical discourse analysis (CDA).