Princeton University Library

European Union Research
 
 

EUROPEAN UNION DOCUMENTS RESEARCH GUIDE

 


Table of Contents

 
Brief Overview
Official Web Site – Europa
Principal Institutions of the EU – Brief Descriptions
Introductory Treatises and Texts
Dictionaries and Directories
Treaties
Founding Treaties
Accession Treaties
Electronic Databases
Print Versions
Legislation
Legislative Process
Official Journal of the European Communities
Library Holdings
Electronic Versions
How to Find A Document When You Have a Citation to the OJ
How to Find A Regulation or Directive When You Have Only the Year and Number of the Document
How to Find EU Documents by CELEX Number
How to Find EU Documents by Subject
How to Find Other Documents Related to the Legislative Process
COM Documents
Council Documents
Parliamentary Documents and Reports
Economic and Social Committee Documents
Committee of the Regions Documents
Status of Legislation
OEIL – the Legislative Observatory
PreLex
Directory of Community Legislation in Force
RAPID
National Implementing Legislation
Case Law
Official Publications
Finding Aids for EU Case Law by Subject
Electronic Databases
Print Sources
Official Reports on EU Activities
Journals and Periodicals 
Indexes
Selected Journals
Statistical Information and Public Opinion Surveys
Research Guides
European Union Depository Libraries
Appendices
Appendix A – European Parliament
Appendix B – Treaty Sources
Appendix C – Quick Links
Appendix D – Official Languages
Appendix E - Research Using LexisNexis



BRIEF OVERVIEW

The European Union is a supranational organization whose members include most countries of Central and Western Europe (referred to as Member States). Switzerland and Norway are NOT members of the European Union.

The EU began as the European Steel and Coal Community in 1953 with the intent to regulate the capacity of large metal fabricating industries. The six original Member States – Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands – signed the ECSC Treaty and began the process of European integration. Since then, the EU has developed in stages with the creation of an economic community, development of a single market and the removal of many trade restrictions and border controls. In recent years, the EU has introduced a common currency, begun to develop a common foreign affairs policy and improved cooperation among Member States on justice and home affairs.

EU government policy is divided into three "pillars" which consist of the following:
 

Pillar Policy Content
I The three communities of the European Coal and Steel Community, the Economic Community and Euratom
II Common foreign and security policy (CFSP)
III Justice and home affairs – judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, police cooperation, immigration policy

Currently there are 15 Member States of the EU: 
 

Member State Year Joined
Belgium 1958
France 1958
Federal Republic of Germany 1958
Italy 1958
Luxembourg 1958
The Netherlands 1958
Denmark 1973
Ireland 1973
United Kingdom 1973
Greece 1981
Spain 1986
Portugal 1986
Austria 1995
Finland 1995
Sweden 1995

The EU and its Member States have entered into a Treaty of Accession with the following nations to enlarge the EU and expects that they will become Members in time for the next election of the European Parliament in June 2004: 
 

Cyprus Slovenia
Czech Republic Latvia
Estonia Lithuania
Hungary Malta
Poland Slovakia

Europa maintains a web page on the enlargement process: http://europa.eu/pol/enlarg/index_en.htm

The principal offices of the EU are located in Brussels, Belgium, although other EU institutions have offices in Luxembourg; Frankfurt, Germany; and Strasbourg, France.

OFFICIAL WEB SITE - EUROPA

Europa
http://europa.eu
The official web page of the European Union provides excellent access to official EU documents, especially recent documents. This portal has become a principal tool to improve the transparency of EU governance. 

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PRINCIPAL INSTITUTIONS OF THE EU – BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS

Following are brief descriptions of the principal institutions of the EU, focusing on each institution’s legal activities and structure. Subsequent sections contain more detailed instructions on legal research related to each institution. 

European Commission
http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm
The Commission is the primary drafter of new legislation in the EU. The Commission proposes new legislation and launches new policy initiatives. The Commission also serves as the executive of the EU and enters into international agreements on behalf of the EU. In addition, the Commission is the guardian of EU policy and can initiate legal proceedings to ensure compliance with EU policy and legislation. 

The commission currently consists of 20 Commissioners who are selected by the Member States. Each commissioner has a separate portfolio – an area of policy concern. The staff of the Commission is organized into 36 Directorates-General ("DG") or departments which have distinct areas of responsibility. Previously, DG’s were referred to by Roman numeral but since September 1999 (six months after the Commission resigned en masse under pressure because of serious allegations of corruption), DG’s have been reorganized as follows and are no longer referred to by number:
 
 
 

Area Department
General Services  
  Secretariat General 
  European Anti-Fraud Office
  Eurostat
  Press and Communication 
  Publications Office (EUR-OP)
Policies  
  Agriculture
  Competition
  Economic and Financial Affairs
  Education and Culture
  Employment and Social Affairs
  Energy and Transport
  Enterprise
  Environment
  Fisheries
  Health and Consumer Protection
  Information Society
  Internal Market
  Joint Research Centre
  Regional Policy
  Research 
  Taxation and Customs Union
External Relations  
  Development
  Enlargement
  EuropeAid – Co-operation Office
  External Relations
  Humanitarian Aid Office – ECHO
  Trade
Internal Services  
  Budget
  Financial Control
  Group of Policy Advisers
  Internal Audit Service
  Joint Interpreting and Conference Service
  Legal Service
  Personnel and Administration
  Translation

Each directorate-general maintains an individual web site that contains information on the policy area for which it is responsible. Frequently, working papers and preliminary reports prepared by the DG are available on its web site. The following web page contains links to the various Commission directorates:
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs_en.htm

Council of the European Union
http://www.consilium.europa.eu/cms3_fo/showPage.ASP?lang=en
The Council of the European Union, also known as the Council of Ministers, is a separate and distinct body from the European Council described below. Composed of selected ministers from each Member State, the Council exercises legislative power along with the European Parliament. The Council operates through committees such as the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER).

European Parliament
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/default_en.htm
Originally, the European Parliament had little political power or authority. As the EU developed, the Parliament gained more power in the legislative process, but does not yet have the legislative power typically associated with a national parliament or legislative body. 

This political assembly of 626 members is directly elected by the citizens of the EU Member States. Representation is roughly proportional to the population of the EU Member States. Members of the European Parliament are sometimes referred to as MEP’s.

The Parliament has no authority to propose legislation directly, but may request the European Commission to propose legislation. The Parliament must approve most legislation, in particular the annual EU budget, and has withheld its approval in order to influence legislation proposed by the European Commission. 

European Council
Consisting of the heads of state (presidents and prime ministers) of Member States, the European Council meets twice a year, usually in January and June. The President of the Council (having a six month term) hosts the Council meeting. This body is distinct and separate from the Council of the European Union described above.

European Court of Justice
http://curia.europa.eu/en/
Consisting of 15 judges and 8 advocates-general, the Court of Justice interprets and adjudicates disputes over EU law, a separate body of law distinct from and supreme over the law of the Member States. The judges are elected by common accord among the Member States.

Court of First Instance – Consisting of 15 judges, this intermediate appellate court also decides disputes regarding EU law. This court was created in 1989 to alleviate delays in deciding cases because of an increased caseload. The court’s jurisdiction is focused on competition cases and staff cases. 

Committee of the Regions
http://www.cor.europa.eu/en/index.htm
Created by the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), this consultative body is composed of 222 members with 222 alternates who serve four year terms. Membership is roughly proportional to the populations of the Member States. The Council of Ministers appoints members proposed by Member States who are generally local, municipal or regional officials. The COR must be consulted during the legislative process regarding laws affecting trans-European infrastructure, education, culture, environment, or employment or having a particular local or regional effect. The COR issues opinions at the request of other EU institutions or can issue own-initiative opinions.

Economic and Social Committee
http://eesc.europa.eu/index_en.asp
Created by the Treaty of Rome (1957), this consultative body, consisting of 222 members, issues opinions on legislation. The members are appointed by the Council and the membership is roughly proportional to the populations of the Member States. The membership is divided into three equal groups that represent labor unions, professional bodies (accountants, physicians, attorneys, etc.) and other groups. 

European Court of Auditors
http://www.eca.europa.eu/index_en.htm
This body audits the accounts and implements the budget of the EU and consists of 15 representatives of the Member States. The Court issues an annual report, special reports and opinions.

European Central Bank
http://www.ecb.eu/home/html/index.en.html
Member States that meet certain economic criteria and standards join this central bank. The bank creates and implements monetary policy and is responsible for the issuance of the EU’s common currency – the Euro. Great Britain, Sweden, and Denmark have NOT adopted the Euro as their national currency. 

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INTRODUCTORY TREATISES AND TEXTS

Encyclopedia of the European Union
Firestone Library (F)   JN30 .E52 2000
Articles on topics related to the EU are included in this single volume along with a chronology of key events in the development of the EU up to 1998.

John Peterson and Michael Shackleton, eds., The Institutions of the European Union (2002)
Firestone Library (F)   JN30 .I57 2002 
This introductory text provides a detailed look at the principal institutions of the EU.  Each chapter is written by a different EU expert or scholar.

T.C. Hartley, The Foundations of European Community Law (5th ed. 2003)
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library  KJE947 .H37 2003 
This book is a good introduction to the law of the European Union. Chapter 1 describes the legal basis for and function of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. Chapter 2 describes the structure and function of the EU’s judicial system – the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance.

P.S.R.F. Mathijsen, A Guide to European Union Law (7th ed. 1999)
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library   KJE947 .M38 1999
A good introduction to EU institutions and EU law.

P.J.G. Kapteyn, Introduction to the Law of the European Communities: From Maastricht to Amsterdam (3rd ed. 1998)
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library  KJE947 .K36313 1998 
A lengthy treatise (despite its title) on EU institutions and law.

Ralph Folsom, European Union Law in a Nutshell (3rd ed. 1999)
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library KJE 949.F55 1999
Part of the West nutshell series, this basic guide is a good starting point for many researchers unfamiliar with the European Union.  However, this edition does not take into account changes brought about by the Treaty of Nice.

Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, The ABC of Community Law. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2000. 
Firestone Library (F)  KJE947 .B67 2000
Brief summary of EU institutions and the sources of European Union law.
Also available on EurLex 
http://www.europa.eu/eur-lex/en/about/abc/index.html

DICTIONARIES AND DIRECTORIES

Anne Ramsay, Eurojargon: A Dictionary of the European Union, 6th ed. (2000)
Firestone Library (SSRC), Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library  HC 241.2 .R257 1994
Exhaustive list of acronyms used by EU agencies and officials.

Glossary: Institutions, Policies and Enlargement of the European Union. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2000. 
Firestone Library (F)  Oversize JN30 .G566 2000q 
A selective list of terms and concepts related to the EU.

Index of EU Topics
While technically not a dictionary, this excellent alphabetical index of EU organizations, agencies and topics is maintained by the Washington Delegation of the European Union.
http://www.eurunion.org/infores/euindex.htm

EU Who Is Who
http://europa.eu/whoiswho/public/index.cfm?lang=en
Maintained by the European Commission, this database provides contact information for senior personnel of the European Union. Searchable by name, agency, or hierarchical structure.

EUROCAT
This electronic database, only available from Princeton LibraryWeb computers, combines four databases published by the Eur-Op, the Office for Official Publications of the European Union, including CELEX.  The database includes citations only of publications since 1985 and can be searched using a CELEX number or sales publication number.  Available in all official EU languages except Greek.
 
 

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TREATIES

The European Union has developed over the past four decades from the European Coal and Steel Community to the current supranational organization through the adoption and ratification of treaties. 

Founding Treaties
Europa contains copies of the constitutive treaties at
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm
The text of the treaties are usually published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, the principal legal publication of the EU. Other treaty series and commercial publications are also sources for the text of treaties. For U.S. attorneys, the O.J. is roughly equivalent to a combination of the Federal Register, the Statutes at Large and the United State Treaty Series.

The founding treaties are frequently referred to as "primary legislation." In contrast, "secondary legislation" refers to directives, regulations and other forms of law described in the LEGISLATION section below.

Following is a list of the founding treaties and their citations that provide the legal basis for the EU [See Appendix B Treaty Sources]: 

  • Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, April 18, 1951, 261 U.N.T.S. 140 (ECSC Treaty or Treaty of Paris). This treaty expires by its own terms on 23 July 2002.
  • Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, March 25, 1957, 298 U.N.T.S. 3, 4 Eur. Y.B. 412 (EEC Treaty or Treaty of Rome).
  • Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, March 25, 1957, 298 U.N.T.S. 259, 5 Eur. Y.B. 454 (Euratom Treaty). 
  • Treaty Establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities, April 8, 1965, 1967 J.O. 152/1 (Merger Treaty in French).
  • Single European Act, Feb. 17, 1986, 1987 O.J. (L 169); 25 I.L.M. 506. 
  • Treaty on European Union, Feb. 7, 1992, 1992 O.J. (C 191), 31 I.L.M. 253 (the Union Treaty or the Maastricht Treaty).
  • Treaty of Amsterdam Amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties Establishing the European Communities and Certain Related Acts, Oct. 2, 1997, 1997 O.J. (C 340); 37 I.L.M. 56 (Treaty of Amsterdam).
  • Treaty of Nice Amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties Establishing the European Communities and Certain Related Acts, Feb. 26, 2001, 2001 O.J. (C 80) (Treaty of Nice). 
Consolidated versions of the treaties incorporating the changes through the Treaty of Amsterdam, but NOT the Treaty of Nice, are available in the Official Journal: 
  • Treaty on European Union, 1997 O.J. (C 340) 145-172.
  • Treaty Establishing the European Community, 1997 O.J. (C 340) 173-308.
A consolidated version of the treaties incorporating all changes including the changes brought about by the Treaty of Nice is available in the Official Journal:
  • Treaty on European Union, 2002 O.J. (C 325) 5-32.
  • Treaty Establishing the European Community, 2002 O.J. (C 325) 33-184.
The Treaty of Amsterdam renumbered the articles of the founding treaties. Citations to specific articles of the founding treaties prior to the ratification of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 will be to the old numbering scheme of the treaty articles. A table of equivalences showing the correspondence between the old and new numbering scheme was published in the Official Journal on October 11, 1997 at O.J. 1997 C340/85.

Accession Treaties

The EU has grown since its founding by admitting additional nations. New members of the EU must sign and ratify an accession treaty in order to join the EU. The four accession treaties (thus far) and their citations are listed below: 

  • Accession to the European Communities of the Kingdom of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Jan. 22, 1972, 1972 O.J. (L 73) (First Accession Treaty).
  • Accession to the European Communities of the Hellenic Republic, May 28, 1979, 1973 O.J. (L 291) (Second Accession Treaty).
  • Accession to the European Economic Communities of the Kingdom of Spain and the Portuguese Republic, June 12, 1985, 1985 O.J. (L 302) (Third Accession Treaty).
  • Accession to the European Union of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden, June 24, 1994, 1994 O.J. (C 241) (Fourth Accession Treaty).
  • Treaty of Accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia,  April 16, 2003.
Convention on the Future of Europe or the European Constitutional Convention
http://european-convention.eu.int/bienvenue.asp?lang=EN
The European Convention met in Brussels beginning in 2002 and in June 2003 completed its task of drafting a constitutional treaty to be considered by an intergovernmental conference beginning in the fall of 2003.  Several drafts of this treaty are available on the Convention’s web site.  If ratified by the Member States, this treaty would replace the founding treaties discussed above.
 
 

Electronic Databases

Europa / EurLex
EurLex contains copies of the EU treaties at the following link :
http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/treaties/index.htm

LexisNexis Academic
Available through the Library Web 
Database Name: EU Law (Celex); EU Treaties
Contains founding treaties since 1951 ; derived from the CELEX database

LexisNexis (fee-based subscription)
Available in Telnet version and in Social Science Reference Center, Firestone Library
Database Name : EURCOM; TREATY
Contains founding treaties since 1951 ; derived from the CELEX database
In the past, EU materials have not been kept up-to-date on LEXIS and LEXIS has not advertised its gap in coverage. 

CELEX 
The official legal database of the EU is available by subscription only. EurLex (discussed above) provides access to a portion of the content available on CELEX. CELEX provides content prior to 1998 and allows for advanced searching capabilities. Princeton University does not subscribe to this fee database published by the European Union Office of Publications because much of the content is available through other databases, such as LexisNexis, or in the print or microforms collection.

Print Versions

Copies of the treaties are available in the following treaty series or serials:

United Nations Treaty Series
Available online at: http://untreaty.un.org/English/access.asp
Firestone Library (F)  PITN 600.912.2
Holdings: 1946-47 - present

European Yearbook
JN3 .A5 
Firestone Library (F)  Vol. 1 (1955) -
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library 
Current volume

International Legal Materials
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library KZ64 .I58 
Holdings: Vol. 1 (1962) -
Available on Hein on Line

Available on LexisNexis Academic
Database: International Legal Research; International Legal Materials

As an EU depository library, Princeton University Library owns collections of EU treaties published by Eur-Op, the Office of Official Publications of the European Union.  A selective list of these publications include;

Treaty on European Union: Consolidated Versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establsihing the European Economic Community.
Firestone (SSRC),  Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library KJE4443.31992 .A2 1997

European Union: Selected Instruments Taken from the Treaties
Firestone (SSRC),  Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library KJE4442.3 .E8735 1999

Documents Concerning the Accesssion of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the European Union
Firestone (SSRC),  Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library KJE4442.3 .D628 1996q 

Ratification of the Treaty on European Union: Preparations
This 15 volume set contains the travaux preparatoires for the Maastricht Treaty.
Firestone Library (F)  Oversize KJE4443.31922.A6 R373 1996q

Ratification of the Single European Act: Preparations
This four volume set contains the travaux preparatoires for the Single European Act.
Firestone Library (F) Oversize KJE4443.31986.A6 S563 1993q
 
 

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LEGISLATION

Legislative Process

Five EU institutions are involved in the legislative process: the Commission, the Council of the European Union, the Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, and the Economic and Social Committee. The Commission, the Council and the Parliament are primarily involved in enacting legislation. The Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions serve in a consultative role.

There are four methods for enacting legislation in the EU (listed below in order of importance): 

  1. Co-decision;
  2. Cooperation; 
  3. Assent; and
  4. Consultation.
Co-decision has become the principal manner by which legislation is adopted in the EU. For a more detailed discussion of the legislative process, see the PreLex summary at http://ec.europa.eu/prelex/apcnet.cfm?CL=en.
For details on the co-decision procedure, see Co-Decision Guide by the staff of the Council of the European Union at http://ec.europa.eu/codecision/index_en.htm.

There are four types of EU legislation: 

  1. Regulations, which are directly applicable to Member States and require no further action to have legal effect.
  2. Directives, which are addressed to and are binding on Member States, but the Member State may choose the method by which to implement the directive. Generally, a Member State must enact national legislation to comply with a directive.
  3. Decisions, which are binding on those parties to whom they are addressed.
  4. Recommendations and opinions, which have no binding force.


Official Journal of the European Union

The Official Journal (O.J.) of the European Union (formerly the Official Journal of the European Communities) publishes the text of legislation and other official acts of the European Union. It contains treaties, all four types of legislation mentioned above, working papers, judgments of the European Court of Justice, proposals for legislation, and other official communications between EU institutions. Prior to 1973 when the United Kingdom and Ireland joined the EU, the O.J. was not published in English. Currently, the O.J. is published daily in each of the eleven official languages of the EU. To the U.S. researcher, the O.J. is a combination of the Statutes at Large, the U.S. Treaty series, the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register and the Congressional Record.

There are six components to the Official Journal: 

  • Legislation – L Series contains regulations and directives adopted by the Commission or the Council alone or jointly with the European Parliament. Prior to 1968, the Official Journal was not divided into the L and C series. 
  • Communications – C Series contains non-binding decisions of the EU institutions such as communications of the Commission on various topics, Court judgments, opinions of the Committee of the Regions or the Economic and Social Council.
  • Communications – CE Series contains Commission proposals since July 1999. It is only available in an electronic version on EurLex, Westlaw, or Lexis. A table of contents of the electronic CE series is published in the C Series.
  • Communications – CA Series contains principally employment notices for EU institutions.
  • Annex-Debates contains verbatim reports of the plenary sessions of the European Parliament. The Annex-Debates ceased publication after the May 1999 parliamentary session.
  • Supplement – S Series contains notices of invitations to bid on EU funded contracts.
Many EU legislative documents are available in an electronic version, but the EU considers only the print version to be official.

Princeton Library Holdings

The Princeton University Library owns all the components of the Official Journal: 

Official Journal of the European Communities: Legislation (L Series)
Firestone Library (F) Oversize 7889.685q
Holdings: 1973-1985

Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1952-1972 (in French), 1973-1999 (in English)

CD-ROM  in Microforms, C Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1998 - current

Official Journal of the European Communities: Information and Notices (C Series)
Firestone Library (F) Oversize PITN 968.864q
Holdings: 1973-1984

Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1952-1972 (in French), 1973-1999 (in English)

CD-ROM in Microforms, C Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1998 - current

Official Journal of the European Communities: Annexes – Debates of the European Parliament
Ceased publication in print in 1999
Firestone Library (F) Oversize PITN 968.683q
Holdings: 1973 - 1984

Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1984 - 1997

CD-ROM in Microforms, C Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1998 - current

Official Journal of the European Communities: Index 
Firestone LIbrary (F) Oversize HC240.J823 S81q
Holdings: 1968 - 1972 (in French); 1973 - 1983 (in English)
Subject and Name Indexes

Official Journal Special Edition
Firestone Library(F)  PITN 973.685q
Official Journal Special Edition Second Series
Firestone LIbrary (F) Oversize KJ .033q 
In 1973, most EU legislation then in effect was translated into English.  These two multi-volume sets contain English translations of EU legislation.  Another relevant set translating EU law into English as of December 31, 1972, is Secondary Legislation of the European Communities, Firestone Library (F), Oversize 7889.847q.

Official Journal CE Series
Beginning in July 1999, major European Commission proposals became available in the CE Series. The full text of the CE Series is available on EurLex  and LexisNexis Academic. The table of contents of each CE issue is published in the print version of the C series.

Electronic Versions

The Official Journal is also available in electronic form in the following databases:

Europa / EurLex
http://www.europa.eu/index_en.htm
Journals from January 1, 1998 forward are available on the Web. Some recent documents are in PDF.

LexisNexis Academic 
Database: Legal Research, EU Law (CELEX), EU Legislation

How to Find a Document When You Have a Citation to the OJ

A regulation is generally cited by its number, then its year.  In contrast, a directive is cited by its year first, then its number.

Example: Council Regulation No. 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, 2001 O.J. (L 12) 1. 

This Regulation is in the L Series of the OJ in the 2001 volume containing issue 12 for that year at page 1.
How to Find a Regulation or Directive When You Have Only the Year and Number of the Document

Example: First Council Directive 77/780 on the coordination of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions, 1977 O.J. (L 322) 30.

Assuming you do not have a citation to the Official Journal, but only the year and number, search: 

  • In LexisNexis Academic, the document segment Title with "77/780"
    • Example: Title (77/780)
  • In EurLex, search the Legislation database by Document Number
The Chronological Index of Volume II of the Directory of Community Legislation in Force ("CLIF") located in Social Science Reference Center and Firestone Library stacks (Oversize KJE 920.5 D57q ) can also help find an OJ citation to an EU official document. In the Chronological Index, documents are organized by document sector, by year and then by CELEX number. By cross-referencing to Volume I of CLIF, you can locate the specific OJ citation.

How to Find EU Documents by CELEX Number

CELEX is the official database of documents used by EU officials and available to others by subscription. Each document in the CELEX database is assigned a unique CELEX number. See the section entitled "Information for Readers" at the beginning of Volume II of CLIF for more information on interpreting CELEX numbers. Because the EU databases on  LexisNexis Academic is derived from CELEX, the Princeton University Library does not subscribe to CELEX.

To find documents by CELEX number, search in LexisNexis Academic in the Document Segment called "DOC-NUMBER" and use the complete 10 symbol CELEX number

Note: A Celex number is normally a series of 10 alphanumeric symbols. 

Example: Celex number is 31989L0299. 

How to Find EU Legislation by Subject

Frequently, you will want to find EU legislation on a particular legal topic. Unlike the federal statutes in the United States, there is no official codification of EU legislation. However, there are several sources that provide subject access to EU law. Searching electronic databases such as   LexisNexis Academic may be "easier," but a search of print sources frequently is effective and efficient.

Electronic Databases

Similar to legal research in the U.S., legal research in European Union law can be done effectively with LexisNexis Academic. 

    • In LexisNexis Academic, search EU Legislation in the EU Law (CELEX) database.
    • In EurLex, search multiple databases such as the OJ, Legislation in Preparation, Legislation, Treaties, and Case Law. Europa generally does not include pre-1997 documents and its search engine is not as sophisticated as the searching software in  LexisNexis Academic.
SCADPlus
http://europa.eu/scadplus/scad_en.htm
This web page, organized by subject area, provides summaries of EU activity in those areas. There is also an A-Z Index of the contents.

In Print

Directory of Communities Legislation in Force and other Acts of the Community Institutions
Oversize KJE 920.5 D57q 
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library 
Holdings: Current issue
Firestone Library (F) Oversize KJE 920.5 D57q
Holdings: 36th - 38th editions
Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 29th - 34th editions

The first volume of this set organizes legislation within the analytical structure of EU law used by the European Commission. The table of contents sets out the various subject areas. Within each subject area is listed EU legislation related to that subject area. This source is difficult to use because the researcher must be familiar with the analytical structure which is based on the text and divisions of the EU treaties in order to search the source efficiently.
The second volume contains a subject index with cross-references to the relevant page in the analytical structure set forth in volume 1.
This set is updated twice each year on January 1st and July 1st.

Community Legislation in Force is also available on Europa/ EurLex at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/repert/index.htm. The electronic version contains hypertext links to EU documents. Some are available in PDF.
 
 

How to Find Other Documents Related to the Legislative Process

COM Documents

Commission Documents, also known as COM documents, include legislative proposals, communications and reports such as "green papers" or "white papers" issued by the staff of the Commission. COM documents are numbered sequentially each year and are referenced by number and date.

Example: COM (2002) 0018, Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament towards an Integrated European Railway Area

COM documents are available in microfiche:

Documents of the European Commission
Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library 
Holdings: 1983 - current

COM documents are available in  EurLex – Legislation in Preparation http://europa.eu/eur-lex/en/search/search_lip.html
and Documents of  Public Interest http://europa.eu/eur-lex/en/search/search_dpi.html
Most of these documents (without the useful explanatory memorandum) were published in the OJ C series until June 1999. After June 1999 selected COM documents are available in the electronic Official Journal CE series on EurLex.

Documents Catalogue
Firestone (SSRC) Z7165.E8 C639c
Holdings: 1986 - 1997
An index to COM documents and European Parliament reports. Contains an index using EU subject classifications, alphabetical index, numerical index by COM document number and European Parliament (PE) report number.

Council Documents

Prior to 1999, Council documents typically were kept confidential. Due to provisions in the Treaty of Amsterdam and a general policy of transparency in EU decision-making, more Council documents are being made public. Coucil documents are available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/docCenter.asp?lang=en&cmsid=245.

Parliamentary Documents and Reports

As part of the legislative process, the European Parliament generates documents such as committee reports and floor debates that are of interest to legal researchers.

OEIL the Legislative Observatory
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/index.jsp?language=en
The European Parliament has created a database that tracks parliamentary action on legislative proposals. The database can be searched by multiple criteria such as keywords, stage of legislative procedure, etc. An index of legislative action by subject is also available.

Debates of the European Parliament 
Located in a searchable database at the European Parliament’s web site.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/expert.do?language=en
An index to the Debates and Texts Adopted for 1984-1999 is available at the following web site: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/cre/tables.htm

Official Journal of the European Communities: Annexes – Debates of the European Parliament
Ceased publication in print in 1999
Firestone Library (F) Oversize PITN 968.683q
Holdings: 1973 - 1984

Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1984 - 1997

CD-ROM in Microforms, C Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1998 - current

Reports of the European Parliament
Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1985 - 1997

Also available on the Web at:
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/expert/reports.do?language=EN
EuroParl provides a searchable database of reports. A parliamentary report is assigned a document number that typically begins with PE DOC A.

Example: PE DOC A4-0485/98, Report on the Communication from the Commission on the Information Strategy for the Euro. 


Session Documents / Working Documents – contain committee reports and communications from Parliament to other EU institutions.
Session Documents are divided into three series: 

  • A Series contains parliamentary committee reports, such as a report on pending legislation.
  • B Series contains motions tabled by MEP’s and other material related to plenary sessions of the Parliament.
  • C Series contains Commission proposals for legislation (COM documents referred to above) that are renumbered with European Parliament document numbers.
Working Documents [Session Documents]
Off-site, Forrestal Annex (Annex A)  HC240 .E8955 
Holdings:  1961/62 - 1984/85 

Documents de Séance [Session Documents]
Off-site, Forrestal Annex (Annex A)  HC240 .E897
Holdings:  1958 – 1973 (in French); lacks certain issues

Parliamentary documents after 1996 are available on Europarl: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities.do?language=EN
 

Parliamentary Questions
Members of the European Parliament regularly question European Commissioners on EU policy. Below is a link to a searchable database of these questions and their responses: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/QP-WEB/application/home.do?language=EN

Parliamentary Questions are also available in (1) the OJ C Series through 1999 and (2) on LexisNexis Academic, in database Legal Research, EU Law (CELEX), EU Parliamentary Questions.
 

Economic and Social Committee Documents

Many documents are available on the ESC’s official web site: http://eesc.europa.eu/index_en.asp

Annual Report
Firestone Library (F) HC 241.2.E292b
Holdings 1981 - 1998

Bulletin
Firestone Library (F) HC241.2.E292d
Holdings 1981 - 2000

Opinions and Reports
Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 1984 - present

Committee of the Regions Documents

The official web site, http://www.cor.europa.eu/en/index.htm, contains searchable databases of opinions and resolutions of the Committee. Press releases and the Committee’s recent Activity Reports are also available.

Annual Report
JN26.C655q
Holdings: 1998

COR Opinions and Reports
Firestone Library (F) Oversize KJE5520.A16 C67q
Holdings: 1997 - 2001
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: Current year only

Status of Legislation

To verify the status of proposed legislation or to learn more about the steps in the enactment of a particular legislative proposal, the following two databases are useful.

PreLex
http://ec.europa.eu/prelex/apcnet.cfm?CL=en
A database maintained by the European Commission that collects the documents issued at each step of the legislative process. Searchable by keyword, document number, citation, etc. and includes hypertext links to relevant documents.

OEIL, the Legislative Observatory
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/index.jsp?language=en
This database maintained by the European Parliament provides a synopsis of legislative procedures taken in enacting legislation. Searchable by document number, title of document and other means.

Directory of Community Legislation in Force and other Acts of the Community Institutions (two volumes)
Oversize  KJE 920.5 D57q
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library 
Holdings: Current issue
Firestone Library (F) Oversize KJE 920.5 D57q
Holdings: 36th - 38th editions
Microfiche in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings: 29th - 34th editions 
Citations to enacted legislation will also appear here. This publication is described in more detail above

RAPID
http://europa.eu/rapid/setLanguage.do?language=en
RAPID is a searchable database of press releases by various EU institutions. Frequently, press releases are the quickest and easiest way to learn of new developments in EU law.

National Implementing Legislation

The enforcement of EU directives depends on enactment of national legislation to fulfill the purposes and objectives of a particular directive. In order to determine if national legislation has been enacted in response to EU legislation, the researcher has several aids.

In LexisNexis Academic, there is typically a section at the end of a directive entitled "Implementation." In that section are listed the national laws that were enacted in response to that particular piece of legislation.
Directives in the EurLex database do not contain this section on national legislation. However, directives in the CELEX database do contain this section.

National Provisions Implementing Directives
This LexisNexis Academic database contains summaries of citations to national legislation passed in response to EU laws. Coverage is from 1989 to current.
Location: Legal Research, EU Law (CELEX), National Provisions Implementing Directives
 
 

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CASE LAW

Created by the Treaty of Rome, the European Court of Justice interprets and applies European Union law as found in the EU treaties and legislation. The founding treaties state that the Court "shall ensure that in the interpretation and application of this Treaty the law is observed." The court sits in Luxembourg and the working language of the court is French. A case may be brought in any of the official languages of the EU and one language will be designated the language of the case (generally the language of the national court referring the case). English did not become an official EU language until the United Kingdom joined the EU in 1973. The European Court of Justice is separate and distinct from the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe.

The ECJ has broad jurisdiction in EU matters and its decisions have the force of law in the Member States of the EU. Decisions of the ECJ can override national legislation and decisions of national courts that are deemed contrary to the provisions of EU treaties and legislation. 

The Court of First Instance, created in 1989 to relieve the case load of the ECJ, principally hears cases dealing with competition law, dumping, subsidies and staff grievances. Decisions of the Court of First Instance are appealable to the European Court of Justice on points of law only.

Official Publications

European Court of Justice
http://curia.europa.eu/en/transitpage.htm
Decisions since June 1997 available on the Web. Full text search available.
Decisions are available by case number since the Court’s inception in 1953. After 1989, case numbers for the European Court of Justice begin with "C-."
http://curia.europa.eu/en/content/juris/index.htm

Court of First Instance
http://curia.europa.eu/en/instit/presentationfr/index_tpi.htm
Decisions since June 1997 available on the Web. Full text search available.
Decisions are available by case number since the Court’s inception in 1989. Case numbers for the Court of First Instance begin with "T-."
http://curia.europa.eu/en/content/juris/index.htm

Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance 
(commonly known as the European Court Reports or ECR)
Firestone Library (F) KJE924 .C68
Holdings: 1990 - current
Firestone Library (F) PITN 587.272 
Holdings: 1958 - 1989
Firestone Library (F) KJ .xE8
Holdings: 1954 - 1958
Latest opinions are located in the Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library.

European Court Reports: Reports of European Community Staff Cases
Firestone Library (F) KJE5932 .A7 E93
Holdings: 1994 - current
Current opinions are located in the Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library.

Official reporter of cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union. The ECR is divided into three sections: Section I refers to decisions from the European Court of Justice; Section II refers to decisions from the Court of First Instance; ECR-SC refers to staff cases.
Publication of decisions in this reporter is frequently delayed by 18 months or longer.

Proceedings of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance of the European Communities
Latest issues are located in the Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library 
This weekly publication contains summaries of judgments, opinions of the Advocates-General as well as listings of new cases to be brought before the Court.
Also available on the ECJ’s web site at: http://curia.europa.eu/en/indexaz/index.htm

The Official Journal (C Series) publishes court orders and judgments and lists of cases filed before the European Court of Justice.

Annual Report: Synopsis of the Work of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance of the European Communities
Firestone Library (F) KJE5461.A7 S96 
Holdings: 1992 - 1999

Index A-Z: Numerical and Alphabetical Index of Cases Before the Court of Justice of the European Communities
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library  Oversize KJE924.C682q
These volumes contain three lists of cases: (1) by case number assigned by the court, (2) alphabetical by party name, and (3) by national court referring a question to the court.  The latest two volumes cover cases from 1953 to October 31, 1998; the second volume covers cases from 1989 to March 31, 2000.

Notes: References des Notes de Doctrine aux Arrets de la Cour de Justice et Du Tribunal de Premiere Instance des Communautes Europeennes
Firestone Library (F)  Oversize KJE924 .N673q
This series contains references to annotations by legal commentators and citations to case notes with an emphasis on European publications.  French language only.
 

Finding Aids for EU Case Law by Subject

The European Court of Justice makes available the following sources on its web site at http://curia.europa.eu/en/content/outils/index.htm

  • Digest of Community Law (in French only)
  • Alphabetical index of subject matter
  • 1991-1995 (in English) – HTML document
    1985-1998 (in French) – lengthy PDF document 
  • Annotations of judgments (in French only)
Electronic Databases
LexisNexis Academic is in the process of loading the opinions of the European Court of Justice.  Electronic access should be available by the end of 2003.  However, see the note in Appendix E on use of LexisNexis, the more complete commercial database available in the Social Science Reference Center, in researching European Union legal materials.
 
 

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OFFICIAL REPORTS ON EU ACTIVITIES

Below are listed several regular reports that summarize EU activities. Researchers may find these useful for an overview of EU policy.

Bulletin of the European Union 
(formerly known as the Bulletin of the European Communities)
Firestone Library (F) HC241.2 .A25
Holdings: Vol. 1, no. 1, (Jan. 1968) - present
Latest issues in the Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library.

Published monthly by the European Commission
Issues sine 1996 available in Eurolex on the Web
http://europa.eu/bulletin/en/bullset.htm
 

General Report on the Activities of the Communities (Union)
Firestone Library (F) HC241.2 .A18
Current issues in the Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library.
Holdings: 1967 - present

Annual report of the Commission to the European Parliament
Issues since 1997 available on Europa
Summaries of 1995 and 1996 reports available on Europa
http://europa.eu/generalreport/en/rgset.htm

EUR-OP Catalog of Publications
The catalog of publications published by the EU and its constituent agencies.
Searchable catalog available at http://publications.europa.eu/index_en.html
Roughly equivalent to the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
 

JOURNALS AND PERIODICALS

There are numerous journals and periodicals that report on and analyze EU legal developments. This section highlights finding aids and a very selective list of journals that may be useful in EU legal research.

Indexes

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library 
Print coverage from 1960 to present
Available on the list of Article Indexes and Research Databases on the Library website
Electronic coverage since 1985
Contains citations to articles in journals published abroad in English and other languages. Print version has subject, geographical and author indexes

LegalTrac 
Available on the list of Article Indexes and Research Databases on the Library website
Indexes legal journals from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, but mainly focuses on U.S. journals
Coverage 1980 to present

ECLAS – Catalog of the European Commission Library
http://ec.europa.eu/eclas/
This database of documents on European affairs includes the departmental collections of 20 directorates general. The catalog also includes web resources and secondary sources that were previously cataloged in SCAD, a now defunct database of EU documents. This database is an index and does not contain full-text documents.


 

Selected Journals

Europe
Firestone Library (F) HD9525.A2 E52
Holdings: No. 211 (Jan./Feb. 1979)-no. 422 (Jan. 2003)
LACKS: no. 253, 373, 395
Monthly magazine
Tables of contents for issues since 1996 are available on the Web. Selected full-text articles are also available. Ceased publication in January 2003.

Common Market Law Review
Firestone Library (F) 7600.264
Holdings Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1963)-v. 29, no. 6 (Dec. 1992)
Online: Vol. 37, issue 1 (Feb. 2000)+
http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/toc.php?pubcode=COLA
Quarterly journal

Journal of Common Market Studies
Firestone Library (F) HC240 .J81
Current issues in SSRC, Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings Vol. 1, no. 1 (1962)-v. 39, no. 5 (Dec. 2001)
Online: Vol. 35, no. 1 (Mar. 1997)+
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/bpl/jcms;jsessionid=872omi2o2wui.henrietta?
Quarterly

European Yearbook
Firestone Library (F) JN3 .A5
Current volume in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings Vol. 1 (1955)-v. 48 (2000)
Each annual volume contains a chapter on EU legal developments.

Yearbook of European Law (Oxford University Press)
Firestone Library (F) K29 .E327
Current issues in Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
Holdings:  6 (1986) - 20 (2001)
Contains selected articles on European legal topics and book reviews

European Journal of International Law
Firestone Library (F) K5 .U7256 
Holdings: vol. 1 (1990)-vol. 9 (1998). 
Online: Vol. 9, issue 3 (1998)+
http://www3.oup.co.uk/ejilaw/
www.ejil.org
Contains systematic coverage of the relationship between international law and EU law.
Issues since 1990 available on the Web.

European Integration Current Contents
http://www.jeanmonnetprogram.org/TOC/index.php
Contains tables of contents from selected international law journals.
Published by the Academy of European Law of the European University Institute, Florence, Italy.

Jean Monnet Working Papers
www.jeanmonnetprogram.org
Information on EU law and politics, conferences, and research papers.
Sponsored by the Jean Monnet Chair of the Harvard Law School

STATISTICAL INFORMATION AND PUBLIC OPINION SURVEYS

European Statistical Office
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu
This EU agency, which is part of the Economic and Monetary Affairs DG, provides European level statistics.  Some statistics are available at no charge at the Eurostat web site, but most of its publications are now purchased.

Eurostat Yearbook: The Statistical Guide to Europe
HA1107.5 .E976 Firestone Library
Holdings: 1995 – present (except for 2001)
Current issue is in Ready Reference, Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library.
This annual publication provides basic demographic, economic and trade statistics for EU members, other European nations (including Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland) as well as Canada, Japan and the United States.  Each yearbook contains data for a ten year period.

Eurostat
This database available from the list of Article Indexes and Research Databases on the Princeton Library Web, contains economic, demographic, public finance and trade data for EU member countries.  The data sets are typically for a short time period (since the early 1990’s) and are organized by country.

Comext
This database available from the list of Article Indexes and Research Databases on the Princeton Library Web, contains data on internal and external trade of  EU member countries.  Annual statistics from 1976 to 1987 and monthly, quarterly and annual statistics from 1988 are available.  More information is available in this user  guide.

Eurobarometer
Oversize HN380.5.Z9 P83q
Holdings: 1974 – present
Current issues are in the Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library
This public opinion survey conducted each spring and autumn since 1973 provides data on the public’s view of EU activities. 
Eurobarometer web site http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/index_en.htm provides access to all survey reports since 1973. 
 
 

RESEARCH GUIDES

Best European Union Law Websites
www.eurunion.org/infores/BestLawSites.HTM

Georgetown University
Edward Bennett Williams Law Library
Researching the European Union
http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/intl/guides/eu/

New York University Law Library
European Union, European Commission – Web Guide
http://www.law.nyu.edu/library/foreign_intl/european.html

American Society for International Law
ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law
www.asil.org/resource/home.htm
Click on International Economic Law, then on Regional Economic Integration, then scroll down to the European Union section.

Law Library Journal and NYU GlobaLex

European Union Legal Materials: An Infrequent User's Guide (PDF Version)
European Union Legal Materials: An Infrequent User's Guide (HTML Version)

LLRX.com
European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research

Claire Germain, Germain’s Transnational Law Research: A Guide for Attorneys. Transnational Juris Publications, 1991 -.
Section 2.09 contains information on EU legal materials and there is a separate section on the European Union in Chapter IV: Subjects.
Social Science Reference Center, Firestone Library  K85 .G47 1991

Marylyn Raisch, "European Union: Basic Legal Sources," Chapter 8 in Jeanne Rehberg and Radu D. Popa, Accidental Tourist on the New Frontier: An Introductory Guide to Global Legal Research (1998).
Social Science Reference Center, A Level, Firestone Library  K85 .A27 1998

EUROPEAN UNION DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES

Princeton University has been a depository library of the European Union since 1965 and therefore has an extensive collection of official EU documents.  In addition, the library has supplemented the material received as a depository library by purchasing appropriate books and electronic resources that provide analysis of EU law and policies.  Nearly all EU documents are reflected in the catalog and have been integrated into the main stack collection in Firestone Library.  Because of the extensive EU collection of the Princeton University Library, a researcher would usually not need to visit another library to obtain official documentation of the European Union or secondary source material on EU law and policy. If you are unable to locate a document or information you need or you simply need some guidance on your EU research, please stop by the Social Science Reference Desk  on A Level  of the Firestone Library and ask for assistance from a reference librarian.

A complete listing of EU depository libraries in the United States is available at:
http://www.eurunion.org/infores/libmap.htm.
 
 

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APPENDICES

APPENDIX A

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

Number of Parliament Members from each Member State 
 

Austria 21
Belgium 25
Denmark 16
Finland 16
France 87
Germany 99
Greece 25
Ireland 15
Italy 87
Luxembourg 6
Netherlands 31
Portugal 25
Spain 64
Sweden 22
United Kingdom 87

APPENDIX B

TREATY SOURCES
 

Eur. Y.B. European Yearbook 
 JN3 .A5  Firestone Library (F)
U.N.T.S. United Nations Treaty Series
PITN 600.912.2
J.O. Journal Officiel des Communautes Europeens
Social Science Reference Center, Microfiche
I.L.M. International Legal Materials: Current Documents
Social Science Reference Center, PITN 001.4935

APPENDIX C

QUICK LINKS
 

Europa http://europa.eu/index_en.htm
European Commission http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm
European Court of Justice http://curia.europa.eu/en/index.htm
European Parliament http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/default_en.htm
EurLex http://europa.eu/eur-lex/en/index.html
OEIL http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/default_en.htm?
Curia – Case Law http://curia.europa.eu/en/content/juris/index.htm
PreLex http://ec.europa.eu/prelex/apcnet.cfm?CL=en
ECLAS http://ec.europa.eu/eclas/
EU Website List http://www.eurunion.org/infores/euindex.htm

APPENDIX D

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES OF THE EU http://ec.europa.eu/prelex/apcnet.cfm?CL=en
 

Danish
Dutch
English
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Italian
Portuguese
Spanish
Swedish

APPENDIX E

RESEARCHING EUROPEAN UNION LAW AND DOCUMENTS ON LEXISNEXIS

The main part of this guide refers to databases within LexisNexis Academic where relevant.  LexisNexis Academic is available from the Article Indexes and Research Databases list on the LibraryWeb.  Princeton University Library also subscribes to the commercial version of LexisNexis which is available in the Social Science Reference Center and in a Telnet version available on the Article Indexes and Research Databases list.

This appendix is directed at researchers of European Union law who may wish to use the more complete EU databases available on the commercial version of LexisNexis.  Users of the library’s subscription to LexisNexis must be affiliated with Princeton University.

Treaties

LEXIS (fee-based, by subscription only)
Database Name : EUROPE; TREATY
Contains founding treaties since 1951;  derived from the CELEX database
 

Official Journal of the European Communities

LexisNexis – EURCOM; LEGIS
Coverage from 1979 to present.
 

How to Find a Regulation or Directive When You Have Only the Year and Number of the Document

Example: First Council Directive 77/780 on the coordination of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions, 1977 O.J. (L 322) 30.

Assuming you do not have a citation to the Official Journal, but only the year and number, search the document segment “Title” with “77/780”
 

How to Find EU Documents by CELEX Number

To find documents by CELEX number, search the Document Segment called “DOC-NUMBER” and use the complete 10 symbol CELEX number

Example:  Celex number is 41987D0597. 
 

How to Find EU Legislation by Subject

Similar to legal research in the U.S., legal research in European Union law can be done effectively with LexisNexis. 

Database: EURCOM; ECLAW 
Contains the Official Journal, court cases, treaties, and other official EU documents.
 

Commission Documents or COM Documents

COM documents since 1972 are available in the following databases: EC Preparatory Acts - EUROPE; PREP 
 

Parliamentary Questions

Members of the European Parliament regularly question European Commissioners on EU policy. 
Database EURCOM; PARLQ (since 1964)
 

National Implementing Legislation

The enforcement of EU directives depends on enactment of national legislation to fulfill the purposes and objectives of a particular directive. 

In LexisNexis, there is a section at the end of each directive entitled “Implementation.”  In that section are listed the national laws that were enacted in response to that particular piece of legislation.

National Provisions Implementing Directives – EUROPE; NATPRV 
This LexisNexis database contains summaries of citations to national legislation passed in response to EU laws.  Coverage is from 1989 to current.
 

Case Law

Database name: EURCOM; ECJ
This database, derived from the CELEX, the official legal database from the European Union, contains cases from both the European Court of Justice since 1954 and the Court of First Instance since its inception in 1989.

Return to Table of Contents


Original guide by D. Alford (2003). Updated 2006.

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