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 also Executive Editor of the electronic information service European Sources Online (ESO).
Ian has worked at the Cardiff EDC to make it one of the most high profile and innovative specialist European information services in the world. Providing a traditional enquiry and training service, the Cardiff EDC also offers a programme of events for the public, runs a very successful internship programme and is the editorial base for European Sources Online.
Whilst working as a researcher to a Member of the European Parliament, Ian 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, later re-launched as European Sources Online.
ESO, a web-based European information service, has become 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.
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.
For many years Ian was involved with the European Information Association (EIA), 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.
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, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, 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.
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. For many years he gave a much praised lecture on EU Information and Communication Developments to the annual conference of the European Information Association. In 2013 he has directed EU Information training courses for ASLIB and the Scottish Law Librarians Group (SLLG).
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 (PWEG) 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 work of the PEWG a project involving staff in over twenty five EDCs across Europe contributing to ESO has been established as a way of showing the added value potential of EDC network co-operation.
In 2012 Ian was again selected to be a member of the second Pan-European Working Group for EDCs looking at ways of revitalising the EDC Network. Ian’s contribution was to look specifically at the role of social media in EDCs.
Ian has been invited to present a paper '50 Years of European Documentation Centres' at the EDC Training Seminar in Brussels in December 2013 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the EDC network in 1963.
Senior Library Assistant
Ceri has over thirty years of library and information experience, including ten years in the EDC. She has been a member of the European Sources Online editorial team since 1993.
Senior Library Assistant
Frederico became a permanent member of staff in September 2013, following a very successful six-month internship at the Cardiff EDC. He is also a member of the European Sources Online editorial team.
Further items featuring Cardiff EDC staff and interns are posted on our facebook page.
After a period of depleted staff resources we are returning to our normal staffing levels at the Cardiff EDC this month. Ceri Thomas has returned to work after a period of ill health and Frederico Rocha joins us as the second Senior Library Assistant at the EDC. Frederico already knows the EDC well as he was an intern here from February to July 2013.
We have also welcomed three new full time interns: Sophie Lobig from Germany, Lilla Farkas from Hungary and Selene Moscardo Navarro from Spain. Sophie and Lilla will stay with us for six months and Selene will stay for one year.
As the new academic year begins we will be promoting our part-time intern posts to the new and visiting students at Cardiff University.
In early 2014 we will welcome two new full time interns for approximately six months - Princy Bourdeaud’hui from Belgium and Raphael Tservenis from Greece.
In February Marianne and Paola left us, and we welcomed our first intern from Portugal. Frederico Rocha is currently pursuing a PhD in Political Science from the New University of Lisbon. Frederico will be with us until the end of July. He will be joined in March by Alessandro Sitzia, from the University of Cagliari in Italy where he studies Management.
We also had a change of permanent staff in early 2013. Ronen Shayovitz left us in January to move to Canada. We were pleased to find a replacement Senior Library Assistant very quickly and Andrew Bowsher began working with us at the end of January. Andrew is currently completing a PhD in anthropology from Oxford University.
Already, we are booked up with full time interns until September 2013. Nicolas Aguero from France and Ariane Apodaca from Spain will join us during the summer. Sophie Lobig from Germany will arrive in September for a six month internship.
In the summer we welcomed our first interns from Poland - Ewelina Bruździak and Anna Wilczewska, both students of International Economic Relations at the University of Gdańsk. They were joined by part-time intern Ken Wilson, who was preparing for his Masters degree in Law at Cardiff University.
In the autumn we greeted our second intern from Finland, Marianne Mujunen from the Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences, and at very short notice we also welcomed Olga Ruder from the University of Stuttgart in Germany. In addition, we were joined by a large batch of part time interns from within Cardiff University.
In November Paola Sanna from the University of Cagliari in Italy will arrive for a work placement of three months. Paola is currently studying for a Masters degree in History and Society.
Hélène Louis and Jorge Montesdeoca Pérez have now left the Centre. Hélène has gone on to pass the first stage of the process to work for the European Commission. Jorge has moved on to to a prestigious internship with an academic in the United States, then will be seeking employment back in Spain.
Joining Lucas, and adding to the French community at the Cardiff EDC, is Audrey Domise. Audrey is a true European – French by nationality, living in Germany (Berlin) and studying British Studies. She has already completed a thesis on the use of the Welsh language in the marketing of Wales. While she is in Wales Audrey has taken the opportunity to join Lucas on an intensive course to learn Welsh.
Completing our current batch of interns from France is Chaminda Seneviratne, who joined us as a part time intern after successfully completing a Masters degree at Cardiff University in March 2012. Having such a strong French contingent enabled the EDC to organise at short notice a very successful discussion on the 2012 French Presidential Election in the Centre.
The photograph shows some of the Cardiff EDC interns with Cardiff EDC Director Ian Thomson and Dominic Brett from the Representation of the European Commission in the UK at the European Citizens' Initiative event on 21 March 2012.
Standing, left to right: Hélène Louis, Chaminda Seneviratne, Lucas Goetz, Ian Thomson, Dominic Brett, Ben Smith, Michael Brodsky, Camilla Hues. Front row: Stanislava Petrova, Liudmila Tsyrenzhapova, Eva Belisova.
Ann-Christin, Felicitas and Pauline left Cardiff at the end of January 2012 when their ERASMUS exchange came to an end. At the same time we welcomed three new part time interns: Michael Brodsky, Seda Okuyucu and Anindita Mondal.
A further full time intern, Lucas Goetz, joined us in February and will be with the Cardiff EDC until July 2012. Lucas is of French nationality, although he has lived and studied in the Netherlands for an extended period.
Amongst other work Lucas will be helping us to translate some of our guides into Dutch, revise some of our policy information guides and index information sources that relate to Wales and Europe for ESO. The last task will also help Lucas find information for a dissertation he is currently researching on Wales, Europe and identity.
Lucas, Hélène and Jorge (see photograph) accompanied EDC Director Ian Thomson to the Wales, Europe and the World event at Cardiff City Hall on 3 February 2012. The Cardiff EDC organised a Euro-quiz for school children at the event.
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, the interns have expanded our EDC and ESO translated guides to include material in Albanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Icelandic, Russian and Slovak and updated our guides in French, German and Spanish. Many of them also played an active part in our ‘What Europe Means to Me’ event held at the EDC in December 2011.
In August 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.
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 took a Master’s degree at the School of European Studies (EUROS) at Cardiff University.
In January 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.
Helen Halbert and Robert Cooper with Cardiff EDC Director Ian Thomson
In November 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.
During August 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.
Left to right: Paula Portas Perez, Ian Thomson, Ceri Thomas, Chris Langen
At the beginning of July 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.