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Webguide European Union: Legal Information

About this guide

Where to find legal information from and about the European Union?

This guide provides a thematic overview of selected websites and databases to starting points, treaties, legislation, preparation of legislation, case law, legal literature and other relevant legal information.
It provides for each website or database a brief description of its contents, and where necessary, refers to specific sections within a website.

More information on EU official publications can be found via the European Documentation Center

Starting points

  • Europe Homepage
    Gateway to the European Union includes:
    • Topics offers a survey of the EU policy areas, including a brief description of the policy area, links to EU institutions and bodies, legislation and documentation.
    • EU institutions and other bodies includes information on and links to the websites of the institutions and organizations.
    • Publications offers links to EU-documents, legislation, statistics, historical documents and opinion polls.
  • European E-justice
    Portal containing information on justice (legislation, case law, judicial systems, legal practice) in the European Union and the member states. Target groups: citizens, business, legal practitioners and judiciary.
  • Expertisecentrum Europees Recht (ECER) (in Dutch only)
    Website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs containing information on EU law and the functioning of the EU for officials of political departments.
  • Europa Nu (in Dutch only)
    Information for Dutch citizens to promote an independent perception on the impact of  EU policies.

Treaties

Legislation

  • EUR-Lex: Legislation
    Full text of  European Union legislation.
  • EUR-Lex: Legislative procedures
    Database providing an overview of legislative procedures:  the life cycle of a legislative proposal from the moment it is launched until the final law is adopted.
  • Legislative Observatory (OEIL)
    Database of the European parliament with an overview of inter institutional legislative procedures and the European Parliament's input into those procedures.
  • IPEX
    The InterParliamentary EU information eXchange (IPEX), is a platform for the mutual exchange of information between the national Parliaments and the European Parliament concerning issues related to the European Union. The Documents database contains draft legislative proposals, consultation and information documents.

National legislation (implementation and influence on national level)

  • N-Lex
    The joint gateway for the national law of the EU-member states - from this page you can access the official databases of national laws.
  • Europapoort
    Information about the procedure on the European policy and legislative process in the Dutch Senate. 
  • Overheid.nl: Officiële Bekendmakingen (in Dutch only)
    Information on EU policy and on implementation of EU legislation in the Dutch legal system can be found in the Official Documents of the Dutch government.
  • Europa Decentraal (in Dutch only)
    Knowledge center for queries concerning European law and legislation for local and regional authorities The website contains dossiers on a wide range of EU issues.

Case law

  • EUR-Lex
    Access to the full text case law of the European Union.
  • Curia
    Case law on the web site of the Court of Justice of the European Union.
  • Annotations of judgments
    Annotations by legal commentators relating to the judgments delivered by the Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal since those courts were first established. These references are also included with the judgments under the tab 'All' in EUR-Lex, look for the header 'doctrine'.
  • Dec. Nat. - National Decisions
    Database containing some 27,700 references to national decisions concerning Community law from 1959 up to the present day.
  • Jurifast
    This database contains the references and the full text  of the "preliminary files"  the preliminary question submitted to the Court of Justice of the EU, the Court's answer to this question, and  the national decision(s) following this answer, and of other national decisions on the interpretation of European Union law (decisions without reference).
  • DG Competition
    Website of the Directorate-General Competition of the Commission, offering the decisions in EU competition cases (e.g. antitrust, mergers, cartels) and a collection of judgments rendered by their national courts involving the application of EC competition rules in anti-trust cases.

Literature

Reference works

  • Inter Active Terminology for Europe (IATE)
    EU inter-institutional terminology database: digital dictionary with terminology in the languages of the European Union member states
  • Eurovoc
    Multilingual thesaurus
  • EU Whoiswho
    Names and addresses of staff of the European Union institutions
  • Register of Expert Groups
    Register listing consultative entities established either by Commission decisions or informally by the Commission services. The advisory bodies assist in preparing legislative proposals,  preparation of delegated acts, the implementation of existing EU legislation, programmes and policies,and policy initiatives.
  • Comitology register
    Register containing background information and documents relating to the work of committees assisting the Commission to implement EU legislation, including all documents forwarded to the EU Parliament for information or scrutiny. The documents available enable you to trace the different stages of an implementing measure throughout its entire lifecycle.

Topical issues

Information originating from other organizations: 

  • EurActive
    Media portal fully dedicated to EU affairs: news, policy and discussions EU policy areas. EurActive offers e-mail newsletter.
  • Euobserver
    News and comments on the EU. Euobserver offers free subscription to their newsletter by e-mail.
  • The Paliament Magazine
    News, information on activities of the European Parliament and other EU institutions.
  • Recht.nl (in Dutch only)
    This portal for lawyers offers a weekly newsletter on EU law. Subscription to e-mail bulletins (free for students).

Search engines

Besides search engines like Google (Scholar) and Yahoo there is a specialized search engines as to search EU information:

  • Search Europe
    Searching only official European Union (europa.eu) web pages with Google. It is possible to limit search to legal information (law search) on the EU sites.