About Cardiff EDC
Introduction to Cardiff EDC
The European Documentation Centre (EDC), located in the Aberconway Guest Study Centre at Cardiff University, is part of the Europe Direct Information Network set up by the European Commission. The Cardiff EDC is also an active member of the Wales European Information Network.
The EDC is a major source of information and expertise about the institutions, activities and policies of the European Union (EU). It is a formal European Union Information Relay, and as such contains the publicly available documentation of the institutions, agencies and departments that together comprise the EU.
In addition, the collection at Cardiff includes much material from other sources that describe, analyse, comment upon and relate to developments in the EU, the countries and regions of Europe, and the wider Europe.
Today, much information is also available electronically. The Cardiff EDC staff can help you find this information quickly and efficiently.
The primary function of the EDC is to aid the academic study of European integration and the growing European dimension in other academic disciplines. Cardiff EDC is open to students and researchers from all institutions in the region. In addition, the wider public in South Wales is welcome to make full use of the Centre.
Cardiff EDC aims to:
- provide information about all aspects of the European Union and the countries of Europe in a professional and non-partisan way
- encourage debate about the EU and awareness of the European dimension in our lives
- give the public the opportunity to communicate their views to the EU in the form of questions, suggestions and response to consultations.
Ian Thomson is a European information specialist who has worked in European affairs for thirty years. In addition to being the Director of Cardiff EDC, he is
- Executive Editor of European Sources Online
- Consultant to the Enterprise Europe Network, Wales
- President of the European Information Association.
Whilst working as a researcher to a Member of the European Parliament, he created in 1980 European Access, which became the leading bibliographic service for European information in the 1980s and 1990s. Later, under his continuing editorship, an electronic version, European Access Plus, was launched, as was a new information service called KnowEurope (now relaunched as European Sources Online).
European Sources Online, a web-based European information service, is the leading specialist information service that focuses on providing information about Europe. Originally published by ProQuest Information and Learning until June 2006, it is now published by Information Services at Cardiff University as an activity of the Cardiff EDC.
The European Information Association is the international professional organisation for those who work with European information. Ian was instrumental in the creation of the Association in 1990 and was its Chairman for the first eight years, before becoming President.
Ian was winner of the European Special Librarian of the Year Award 1994, presented by the European Chapter of the Special Libraries Association. He is the author of the standard reference book 'The Documentation of the European Communities' (Mansell, 1989). He has also published a large number of articles in professional journals during his career.
From 2006 to 2009 he was also Director of the South Wales Europe Direct Information Centre (SWEDIC).
Ian directs and presents papers at a large number of training courses and conferences on European topics throughout the world, in the United States, Canada and Australia and in most European countries. He has regular teaching and training assignments at
- College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium and Natolin, Poland
- European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht, The Netherlands
- University of Zagreb Faculty of Law, Croatia
- University of Örebro, Sweden.
Ian also provides information training and lectures for the European Commission in Brussels and throughout the rest of Europe. Since 2007 he has lectured and trained in Belgium, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, as well as the United Kingdom.
The training of journalists in European affairs has become a particular focus of Ian’s activities. In 2006 he was asked to present the EU module on a Masters in Global Journalism for journalists from across the world at the University of Örebro, Sweden. This is now a regular assignment, his latest residency being in March 2011.
He also contributes to a course for trainee journalists and media professionals at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Cardiff University and has taught at the European Journalism Centre in Maastricht. In the summer of 2008 he trained young journalists from Northern Europe at the European Summer Academy held at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania.
In the United Kingdom Ian has directed courses for many organisations including ASLIB/IMI, the Network of Government and Library Information Specialists (NGLIS), the National School of Government, the Standing Committee on Official Publications (SCOOP) and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, as well as the European Information Association. In the autumn of 2009 he spoke on EU information in the Digital Age at a conference 'Government information in the Google Age 2' for CILIP/SCOOP/British Library. In March 2010 he presented a talk on EU information and communication developments in 2009 to the annual meeting of the European Information Association in London, and he was invited to give a talk on 2010 developments at the annual meeting of the EIA in March 2011.
Ian has carried out consultancy work for the Wales European Centre, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Commission. During 2009 he acted as an 'Expert' for the European Economic and Social Committee advising on the development of the EESC Library. In December 2010 Ian advised the multinational pharmaceutical company MSD on EU information matters.
As part of the 125th anniversary of Cardiff University in 2008 Information Services (INSRV) created a 'Day in the life' web site looking at the daily activities of ten of its staff. The feature on Ian Thomson describes a typical day in July 2008. During 2009 Ian was interviewed by the Information Officer of the European Parliament in the United Kingdom and featured as the first of their stakeholder profiles on their re-launched web site.
In 2010 Ian was selected to join the European Commission DG Communication's new Pan-European Working Group looking into the issue of electronic depositories and the potential for the network of European Documentation Centres to cooperate on initiatives in this area. As a result of the first meeting of the Group in Brussels in November 2010 Ian now heads a sub-group looking into ESO evolving into an EDC Network information tool. In November 2011 Ian presented proposals from this sub-Group to a meeting in Malta of EDC personnel from across Europe.
Senior Library Assistant
Ceri has thirty years of library and information experience, including ten years in the EDC. She is also a member of the European Sources Online editorial team.
Senior Library Assistant
Ronen, who joined the EDC in July 2010, recently completed his PhD on the evolution of the Islamist ideology. He is also a member of the European Sources Online editorial team.
Left to right: Paula Portas Perez, Ian Thomson, Ceri Thomas, Chris Langen
At the beginning of July 2010 Cardiff EDC said goodbye to Paula Portas-Perez from Galicia in Spain. Paula had been working in the EDC for seven months covering for a vacant post while completing her PhD at Cardiff University's School of European Studies.
For six weeks in the early summer we welcomed Christopher Langen from Berlin, Germany as an intern. Christopher worked on a number of European Sources Online (ESO) tasks. In particular, he revised a large number of ESO Country Information Guides. He was also able to take advantage of the resources in the EDC to research for information on Euroscepticism in the UK as part of his Master’s degree at the Freie Universität Berlin. Read Christopher's report on his stay at the Cardiff EDC on our Internships page.
During August 2010 our second intern, Veronika Brazdilova from the Czech Republic, came to work with us. Veronika has pursued her university education at Sciences Po (Dijon and Paris) and is currently midway through a Master of Communication Studies degree in Paris. Veronika also spent a year at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In 2009 she had an internship with the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the European Union in Brussels and was involved in the Europe Day celebrations in Paris in May 2010.
Nadja, Felix and Veronika point out where they come from in Germany and the Czech Republic
Veronika worked on revising ESO Country Information Guides and translating a presentation on ESO into French and Czech. She also helped us with an ESO marketing campaign to European information centres in France. You can read Veronika's report on her stay at the Cardiff EDC on our Internships page.
On 23 August, the day that Veronika left the EDC, we welcomed the arrival of Nadja Kalinna and Felix Franke from Germany on work placements for six weeks. Both were visiting Wales on the Leonardo da Vinci programme. Nadja is undertaking vocational training to be a specialist in media and information services at the Bischöfliches Hilfswerk Misereor in Aachen. Felix is also training to work in media and information services and is currently working in the library of the University of Leipzig.
Helen Halbert and Robert Cooper with Cardiff EDC Director Ian Thomson
In November 2010 Helen Halbert from Canada joined the Cardiff EDC for a work placement. Helen is planning to carry out graduate studies in librarianship in Canada. She worked in various libraries within Cardiff University for three months during the winter prior to her studies. Helen's report on her time at the Cardiff EDC is on our Internships page.
In addition to welcoming students visiting Cardiff from other countries, we invited students studying at Cardiff University to build up some work experience in the Cardiff EDC. During the autumn of 2010 we had four students from the School of European Studies (EUROS) – Letizia Mantoan, Francesca Monaco, Silvia Caneva and Robert Cooper – helping us in the Centre.
In January 2011 we welcomed George Gurescu from Romania to the Centre for three months. George is currently undertaking a Masters degree ‘Production techniques in the print, audio-video and online mass media’ at the Department of Journalism and Communication Science, Faculty of Letters, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University in Iasi, Romania.
Alongside George, in the early months of 2011 we also had a new part-time intern, Christina Lee, a visiting student from the State University of New York, New Palz. Christina produced a guide on US information sources about the European Union.
As George arrived, one of our previous interns, Veronika Brazdilova, was visiting us, and Helen Halbert was saying goodbye to Cardiff, so it seemed a good excuse to have a Cardiff EDC social evening at a local restaurant on 20 January.
In this photograph you can see George, Veronika, Helen, our current part-time interns Robert, Silvia, Letizia and Francesca, and permanent staff Ian Thomson and Ceri Thomas.
After a very successful three and a half months George left us in mid April. You can read his report on the Internships page.
Congratulations to Veronika Brazdilova, who secured a highly sought after paid traineeship at DG Communication of the European Commission in 2011, partly due to the experience she had gained at the Cardiff EDC in 2010. She will be working in the unit dealing with the Europe Direct Information Networks and Contact Centre. She has continued to keep in regular contact with us.
In May, we welcomed two new full-time interns, Siret Salm (from Estonia) and Johanna Kämäräinen (from Finland). Siret, who is studying for a MA in European Studies at Aarhus University in Denmark, wished to develop her European knowledge, her language skills and discover how Wales relates to the rest of Europe. Siret stayed with us for six weeks. Johanna (Anni) is studying International Business at Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland and wanted to develop her knowledge of Europe and the EU. Anni left us at the end of September - her report can be seen on the Internships page.
Also in May we were joined by a new part-time intern, Panagiota Tsiligianni (Penny), who has come to Cardiff from Greece. Penny is currently studying for a Master’s degree at the School of European Studies (EUROS) at Cardiff University.
In August 2011 we welcomed Elisabeth (Lissy) Ellis, our first Welsh-speaking intern. Lissy is a EUROS student who had just spent a year in Lyon with the ERASMUS Programme. During the six weeks Lissy spent with us she translated our Introduction to ESO and some of our EDC web pages into Welsh.
We have continued to receive a steady stream of applications for both full time and part time internships at the Cardiff EDC. In October we were joined by two new full-time interns - Hélène Louis from France and Jorge Montesdeoca Perez from Spain, both with us until 2012.
In November a record number of twelve part time interns from the School of European Studies (EUROS) and Cardiff Business School (CARBS) signed up for the 2011-12 academic year - Stanislava Petrova, Ann-Christin Damm, Pauline Veaux-Barrère, Eros Rrodhe, Ben Smith, Rachelle Marnell, Felicitas Belok, Liudmila Tsyrenzhapova, Eva Belisova, Csaba Suto, Amy Mulcahy and Camilla Hues. Between them, they are expanding our EDC and ESO translated guides to include material in Albanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Russian and Slovak and updating our guides in French, German and Spanish.
We already have full time interns from Poland, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom signed up to cover various periods up to September 2012.