May 2023 marked the official end of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure Preparatory Phase Project (EHRI PP) in which the Belgian State Archives - CegeSoma has been part of the consortium since the Project start in December 2019. The EHRI PP project concluded with a Final Event held at The Netherlands Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) Het Trippenhuis on May 23rd.
The overarching aim of the EHRI PP project was to secure the long-term future of trans-national Holocaust research. Its main objectives were to undertake all the necessary legal, financial and strategic work to launch EHRI as a permanent distributed European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) that provides a stable, long-term services to the Holocaust research community by 2025.
Within the EHRI PP project, CegeSoma has been particularly responsible of providing the future EHRI ERIC with all the legal and governance tools which involved, among others, selecting the most appropriate legal form for the future EHRI Research Infrastructure, developing an effective and durable governance structure, and drafting the key legal documents. The most important document that has been drafted under the leadership of CegeSoma are the Statutes, an integral part of the application for the future EHRI ERIC that will be submitted to the European Commission this summer. Moreover, and equally important Belgium also belongs to the first group of countries that support this application by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the implementation and the establishment of an EHRI-ERIC. Another important EHRI PP objective for CegeSoma was to put the basis of the future EHRI ERIC Belgian node, this time together with Kazerne Dossin, the second Belgian partner in the EHRI PP Consortium. This happened during several workshops which finally grouped 10 institutions spread across Belgium and relevant for the Holocaust research, education and remembrance.
Finally, the Belgian State Archives – CegeSoma was also involved in the preparation of the application for the EHRI Implementation Phase project which has been submitted for funding to the European Commission in March this year. Should the outcome be positive the EHRI IP project should start by the end of 2023. If everything goes well, the EHRI-ERIC should be operational in January 2025, the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.