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European Union Legal Materials

Last Updated January 30, 2008 by Karin Johnsrud

The purpose of this research guide is to provide an introduction to the European Union and the resources available about it. It provides an overview of many of the information resources available in the library, through the library homepage and on the Internet. The guide is designed to present general information and resources first before giving specifics into the different kinds of EU materials. By gaining an understanding of the overall organization, it is then easier to sort through the information within each institution or subject area. For the beginning researcher it is helpful to start with the broad resources, which provide an overall sense of the EU structure and organization. Researchers who are more familiar with the EU may want to begin their research in a specific area of EU law.

This guide is organized to follow the research strategy of a beginning researcher. It begins with the presentation of a general overview of the European Union history, development and structure and provides information for general resources. Following these, there are sections discussing the different types of materials created by the EU and presenting finding aids for these materials.

For additional assistance in finding European Union materials at Columbia's Diamond Law Library, please do not hesitate to contact the reference librarians at the Reference desk. Consult the law library homepage for general information and reference desk hours.


Brief Overview

The European Union is a supranational organization whose members include most countries in 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 ESCC 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 developed a common foreign affairs policy and improved cooperation among Member States on justice and home affairs. Currently, the EU is made up of two communities - the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Community (EC).

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 27 Member States of the EU:

Member State Year Joined
Federal Republic of Germany
The Netherlands
United Kingdom
Czech Republic

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

Recent Developments


In May 2004, ten new countries joined the European Union, bringing the number of member states to twenty-five. Since this enlargement included many Eastern European and Baltic countries, it has greatly expanded the geographic scope of the EU, as well introducing many new official languages. As of January 1, 2007, two additional countires, Bulgaria and Romania, have joined the European Union, bringing the total number of member states to 27.

Further enlargement is still being planned. Entry negotiations were begun with Croatia and Turkey in 2005. The application for admission by the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was accepted by the EU in December 2005, although there is not yet a schedule for entry negotiations. In addition, the EU is looking at the possibility of the other Western Balkan countries joining in the future when they are sufficiently ready. These would include Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia.

Resources Related to Enlargement

Included on this page is a link to the most recent Strategy Paper relating to the progress toward accession by Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Turkey. There is also a discussion of the further enlargement for countires in the Western Balkans and the Stabilisation and Assocation Process, which is a precursor program to assist these countries in meeting the EU's requriements.
This is a weekly online newsletter relating to the progress of enlargement.
  • R. Langeuiesche, and A. Toth (eds.), The Unity of Europe: Political, Economic and Social Aspects of EU Enlargement. (2001)
JX1982 Un4 2001 2nd Floor
This book provides an introduction to the EU enlargement process. It was produced following the 2000 joint conference of the European Trade Union Confederation and the European Trade Union Institute. There are transcripts of the speeches made at the conference relating to the political, economic and social factors involved in enlarging the EU.
  • Enlargement Strategy Paper: Report on progress towards accession by each of the candidate countries. (2001)
JX 1981 B872 2000/3 2nd Floor
The report from the European Commission gives a broad overview of the reasons for enlargement and the strategies involved in accession. It also provides a look at where each candidate country was in the accession process as of 2000. Although the information regarding the countries is not current, this is still an interesting resource because it shows what the countries were doing to prepare themselves for membership in the EU, as well as what the EU was seeking from prospective members.
  • Adapting the Institutions to Make a Success of Enlargement: Commission Opinion. (2000)
JX 1981 B872 2000/2 2nd Floor
This commission opinion presents a strategy for adapting the EU institutions as enlargement progresses. It analyzes how the institutions currently operate and suggests possible options for their development and evolution as a result of the 2004 enlargement.
  • C. Ross, Perspectives on the Enlargement of the European Union. (2002)
JX 1981 P432 2002 2nd Floor
This volume is a compilation of articles relating to the enlargement of the EU. Its purpose is to provide a historical account of the enlargement process and to analyze the current status of and future developments in the accession countries. There are chapters relating to region-wide issues and others which provide more in-depth looks at individual countries.
  • N. Nugent (ed.), European Union Enlargement. (2004)
JX1982 Eu7419 2004 2nd Floor
This book addresses the question of how the 2004 enlargement would impact the European Union as a whole. It reviews the historical development of the different enlargements of the EU and places the 2004 enlargement within the larger context. Chapters in the book look at the key social, political, economic and external issues relating to enlargement and the EU.


On January 1, 1999, the European Union implemented the Euro as a single economic unit and on January 1, 2002, paper and coin Euros came into circulation.Fitteen of the 27 current EU members had adopted the Euro as their official currency and are part of the "Euro Area". This includes Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta, three of the countries which joined the EU in 2004. The rest of the new EU countries are "Member States with derogation", which means they are working toward the adoption of the Euro. There are variable timetables for the implementation of the Euro within these countries.The United Kingdom and Denmark opted out of the Euro. Originally, Sweden had also opted out of the Euro, but it is now considered a "Member State with derogation", although a timeframe has not been established for adoption.

Europa's EURO information page

This website contains information relating to the participating members in the EURO, legislation used in its implementation, as well as an archive of papers discussing the changeover to the EURO. This website also contains reports on the progress of the expansion of the Euro Area in the section on documents.

Constitution for the European Union

Between February 2002 and July 2003, the Convention on the Future of Europe took place with the intent of developing a draft constitution for the EU. The Draft Constitution was completed and presented to the President of the EU by the President of the Convention on July 18, 2003. The final version of the proposed constitution, called the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe, was signed by the heads of state on October 29, 2004. It was submitted to the member states for ratification. Although it has been ratified by fifteen countries, the Treaty was defeated in France and the Netherlands in June 2005. Following those defeats, the European Council decided to review the constitution and the ratification process in early 2006. In their June 2006 meeting, the European Council extended the period of review and reflection for another two years.

Resources Related to the Constitution for the EU

Produced by the Council of the European Union, this factsheet briefly summarizes the main points and purposes of the Constitution.
Article available on the Human and Constitutional Rights Resource Page. It provides a discussion of the reasons for establishing a constitution for the EU.
This book discusses the status, structure and reasons for the Intergovernmental Conferences (IGC) held by the European Union. There is specific focus on the constitutional IGCs that are being used for the purpose of developing a constitution of the EU. It presents a historical background of IGCs dating from the 1950s and also explores the reasons for the recently increased occurrence of the IGCs.
  • C Church and D. Phinnemore, Understanding the European Constitution: An introduction to the EU Constitutional Treaty. (2006)
    KJE 4445 .C49 2006 4th Floor
This book provides analysis of the main features of the European Constitution. The focus is on Part I of the Constitution, but it also briefly introduces materials realated to the other parts of the document. There is discussion of the history and development of the constitution and a look at the ratification process.
  • A. Albi and J. Ziller (eds.), The European Constitutions and National Constitutions: Ratification and Beyond. (2007)
    KJE 4445 .E9695 2007 4th Floor
This book looks at the ratification process of the European Constitution in each member state. The materials are presented first for the countries that have approved the constitution, then the two where ratification failed and lastly the countires in which the ratification process is on hold pending decisions by the EU on the future of the constitution. The analysis addresses the question of how the European Constitution has impacted the national constitution within the countries.

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

The European Commission is the primary generator 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 27 Commissioners, one from each Member State. 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
Press and Communication
Publications Office
Economic and Financial Affairs
Education and Culture
Employment and Social Affairs
Energy and Transport
Health and Consumer Protection
Information Society
Internal Market
Joint Research Centre
Regional Policy
Taxation and Customs Union
External Relations
EuropeAid - Co-operation Office
External Relations
Humanitarian Aid Office - ECHO
Internal Services
Financial Control
Group of Policy Advisers
Internal Audit Service
Joint Interpreting and Conference Service
Legal Service
Personnel and Administration

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 European Commission's Directorates-General and Services webpage provides links to individual Commission departments.

Council of the European Union

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

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 785 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 on occasion 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 EU members, 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

Consisting of 27 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 one judge from each Member Country, the Court of First Instance is an intermediate appellate court which 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. It does not hear actions brought by Member States.

Committee of the Regions

Created by the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), the Committee of Regions is a consultative body composed of 317 members who serve four year terms. Membership is roughly proportional to the populations of the Member States. The Council of the European Union 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

Created by the Treaty of Rome (1957), the Economic and Social Committee is a consultative body, consisting of 317 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

The European Court of Auditors audits the accounts and implements the budget of the EU and consists of representatives from each Member States. The Court issues an annual report, special reports and opinions.

European Central Bank

Member States that meet certain economic criteria and standards join the European Central Bank. The bank creates and implements monetary policy and is responsible for the issuance of the EU's common currency - the Euro.

Introductory Treatises and Texts

J. Gower (ed.) The European Union Handbook. (2nd ed. 2002)
JX 1982 Eu742 2002 3rd Floor Reference

This text serves as an introduction to the EU's development, institutions and policies. This would be a good first resource for beginning researchers because it provides an overview of the EU in clear language. It contains a useful glossary of EU acronyms and specialized terms and there are lists of resources within each chapter for researchers needing additional information.

K. Davies, Understanding European Union Law (3rd ed. 2007)
KJE949 .D38 2007 4th Floor

Written for people new to the topic, this book serves as an introduction to the law of the European Union. It provides an overview of how and why the EU developed. Discussion of the main institutions and types of law are included, as is a look at the interaction between EU law and the laws of the member states.

N. Nugent, The Government and Politics of the European Union. (6th ed. 2006)
JN15 .N84 20064th Floor

The book presents an overview of the historical development of the EU, as well as a look at the institutions of the EU and the current developments within the EU. There are discussions relating to the evolution of the EU treaties, the development of a common currency and the enlargement to encompass Eastern European and Baltic countries.

J. Fairhurst. Law of the European Community (5th ed. 2006)
KJE947 .F35 2006 4th Floor

Coverage of European Union law for students, this book focuses on EU law from a UK perspective. It gives an overview of the EU institutions and general principles, as well as discussion of main substanitve aspects of EU law. There is a companion wesite that provides updates and links to additional materials.

T.C. Hartley, The Foundations of European Community Law (5th ed. 2003)
JX1982 .L3 H252 2003 2nd Floor

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 (9th ed. 2007)
KJE947 .M38 2007 4th Floor

This book provides a comprehensive introduction to European Union institutions and EU. It presents an overview of the development of the EU and the responsibilities of the main institutions. There is also discussion relating to specific EU policies and a look at the EU's place in the world.

European Union Law Reporter (formerly known as the Common Market Law Reporter). CCH, Inc.
JX1984 .E6 C74 2nd Floor

Loose-leaf service providing commentary on EU law by topic, texts of treaties, and digests of relevant EU laws. Published in 4 volumes with monthly updates.

Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, The ABC of Community Law . Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 2000.

Brief summary of EU institutions and the sources of European Union.

Dictionaries and Directories

The Guide to EU Information Sources on the Internet. (2nd ed. 2002)
JX1982 G941 2002 3rd Floor Reference

This volume coordinates the wide range of internet resources relating to the EU, providing the researcher with a comprehensive list of such resources. It is organized by subject and gives the name of the site, the sponsoring agency or organization, the URL and a brief description of the contents. The volume is indexed and there are helpful keyword references provided by the editors which allow the researchr to search for sites that would have similar or related information.

A. Ramsay, Eurojargon: A Dictionary of the European Union, 6th ed. (2000)
JX1982 Eu743 2000 3rd Floor Reserve

Exhaustive list of acronyms used by EU agencies and officials.

Glossary: Institutions, Policies and Enlargement of the European Union

A selective list of terms and concepts related to the EU..

European Union A to Z Index

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.

EU Whoiswho

The official directory of the European Union, this database provides contact information for senior personnel of the European Union. Searchable by name, entity or hierarchical structure. There is a print version of this resourcecalled the Official Directory of the European Union [JN27 .O34 4thFloor] available in the library.

Directory of EU Information Sources, 12th rev. ed., 2001.
JX1981 .D6281 3rd Floor Reference

Commercial directory of EU personnel. Includes brief descriptions of EU institutions.

Electronic Databases

Databases are an excellent resource in accessing EU materials. There are a variety of database options, each of which has its advantages. As an example, while Europa, the official EU database, has access to current materials, the commercial databases (Lawtel, Lexis and Westlaw) provide access to both current and older materials. The commercial databases also have more sophisticated search mechanisms. The scope of coverage and ease of use of the commercial databases can also be a factor in choosing the one to use. It is advisable to start with the interface with which one is most comfortable and then try the others.

This section is designed to serve as a general introduction to the databases. Specific access information for indvidual types of materials will be discussed in subsequent section.

Note: Database content in each of these products can change and the individual databases may or may not be comprehensive. As a general rule, the official sources available through Europa provide the most current information, more current than any of the commercial databases. It is important to check the descriptions of the content of the individual databases. In Lawtel, the descriptions are located within the Help and Content functions; in Westlaw and Lexis, there are informational icons listed after the database name.

The official web page of the European Union provides excellent access to official EU documents. Compared to the commercial databases, Europa offers the most current coverage, often including same day information. It contains links to the homepages of EU institutions and explains the functions and activities of these institutions. This portal has become a principal tool to improve the transparency of EU governance. Europa is an excellent resource for information when one is interested in a specific document or specific documents. The search function on Europa is basic and advanced searching can be problematic. While Europa is an excellent resource for recent EU materials, it does not contain a comprehenisve archive of older materials. For older materials, it is necessary to use one of the commercial databases, such as Westlaw, Lexis or Lawtel. Europa provides a brief guide to the information sources on the website.
Lawtel EU is a subscription database which provides access to documents from all the official EU sources. This includes full text versions of the EU treaties, as well as legislation, press releases and background information related to their enactment. The database includes EU treaties since 1951, adopted and proposed legislation since 1989 and the majority of the adopted legislation since the founding of the EU. This database provides comprehensive access to cases from both the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance since 1989, including information from the initial application to the final judgment. Full text of the opinions is available online for cases since 1997. The other individual databases in this resource date back to 1987. Subject and keyword searching is available either in individual or multiple databases. Lawtel provides detailed descriptions of the content of each database within the "Help" function. Lawtel provides updated information within 24 hours of publication in an official source.
The Westlaw EU databases contain materials relating to case law, legislation, originating treaties and regulations. The database includes EU treaties since 1951, legislation since 1952, preparatory acts since 1975, and parlimentary questions since 1992. Case law dates back to 1954 for the European Court of Justice and 1989 for the Court of First Instance. There is access to periodical articles, and updates of current awareness materials. Using Westlaw, it is possible to search under "All EU materials" or to select specific databases, such as case law or legislation, in which to search. The list of databases is extensive from general to highly specific, which can accommodate both beginning and advanced researchers. The informational icons listed after the database names provide a detailed description of the scope and content of the database. Currency within the databases varies, but Westlaw generally updates within 24 hours ofpublication.
Lexis EU materials are contained in databases broken down into broad categories, namely treaties and international agreements, case law, legislation and regulations, commentaries and treatises and news. The database includes EU treaties since 1951, legislation since 1953, preparatory acts since 1972, and parlimentary questions since 1964. There is also a database for national implementing legislation which dates back to 1989. Case law dates back to 1954 for the European Court of Justice and 1989 for the Court of First Instance. Selection of the broad categories brings the user to more specific database options. The informational icons listed after the database names provide a detailed description of the scope and content of the database. Updating in specific databases varies, but according to Lexis, new materials aregenerally added within two weeks of publication.


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

Founding Treaties

Europa contains copies of the constitutive treaties. 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.

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, March25, 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).

A consolidated version of the treaties incorporating the changes through 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. The table of equivalences is also available online as an appendix to The ABC of Community Law

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 accession treaties 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).
  • 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).
  • Accession to the European Union of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic t, April 16, 2003, 2003 O.J. (L 236) (Fifth Accession Treaty).
  • Accession to the European Union of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania, April 25, 2005, 2005 O.J. (L 157) (Sixth Accession Treaty). Bulgaria and Romania are expected to join in 2007. The Treaty must be ratified by all EU Member States and the two accession countries..

The full text of the Accession Treaties is availalble on Europa.

Electronic Databases (Treaties)


EurLex, the portal for European Union law, contains the text of the EU treaties

WESTLAW (fee-based, by subscription only)

Database Name: EU TREATIES
Contains founding treaties since 1951.
Recent documents are available in PDF showing an image from the Official Journal.

LEXIS (fee-based, by subscription only)

Database Name: EURCOM; TREATY
Contains founding treaties since 1951; derived from the EUR-Lex database


Includes full text versions of the Nice Treaty, the EU Treaty and EC Treaty, both in the Maastricht version (from 1 November 1993) and the Amsterdam version (from 1 May 1999). The text of the Accession Treaty related to the 2004 Enlargement is also available. It is possible to search for legislation, press releases and background information related to the treaties and their enactment. Lawtel provides hyperlinks between the Maastricht and Amsterdam treaties, since the Amsterdam Treaty modified existing treaty article numbers.

Print Versions

Copies of the treaties are available in several commercial publications:

European Union Law Reporter (Sweet & Maxwell)
JX1984.E6 C74 2nd Floor

The text of the treaties is in the fourth volume of this four volume set.

Encyclopedia of European Union Law (K. Simmonds ed., Sweet & Maxwell)
KJE 4442.3 .E52 4th Floor

Vol. 1 – Founding and Accession Treaties
Vol.2 and3 – Flanking and Association Treaties
Vol.3 and4 - EU Institutions
Vol.5 – Amending Treaties
Vol. 6 and 7 – Three pillars - Description

European Union Law Guide (Oceana)
JX1982.L3 Eu753 1994 2nd Floor

Volume 1 – Treaties
Volume 1-7 – Principal legislation organized by topic

The Rome, Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties: Comparative Texts
JX1984.E1 R664 1999 2nd Floor

A concise comparison of the treaties showing changes article by article.

Hans Smit, Peter Herzog, Christian Campbell & Gudrun Zagel, Smit & Herzog on The Law of the European Union (LexisNexis Matthew Bender)
KJE947 .S632 4th Floor

This four-volume loose-leaf is a revised and updated edition of Smit and Herzog’s Law of the European Community: A Commentary on the EC Treaty. It analyzes the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community article-by-article, with commentary and references to relevant legislation and case law.


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
  4. Consultation

Co-decision has become the principal manner by which legislation is adopted in the EU. On Lawtel, About the EU Legislative Process includes a brief description of the EU procedures for passing legislation and provides a diagram of the co-decision procedure, since it is the most common legislative process. For details on the co-decision procedure, one can go to the European Commission's Co-decision page or review the Co-Decision Guide produced by the staff of the Council of the European Union.

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 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 2003, this publication was called the Official Journal of the European Communities. Before 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 all the 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 five 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.
  • 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.

Law Library Holdings

The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library owns all the components of the Official Journal:

Official Journal of the European Union: Legislation (L Series)

JX1984.E1 J81021 2nd Floor
Holdings 2003 - present
Recent issues are in 3rd Floor Reserve
JX1984 .E1 J8101 2nd Floor
Holdings 1973-2003
JX 1984 .E1 J8 2nd Floor
Holdings prior to 1973 - only in French

Official Journal of the European Union: Information and Notices (C Series)

JX1984.E1 J8100 2nd Floor
Holdings 2003 - present
Recent issues are in 3rd Floor Reserve
JX1984 .E1 J81 2nd Floor
Holdings 1973 - 2003

Official Journal of the European Union: Index

JX1984.E1 J816 2nd Floor
Holdings 2003 - present
JX1984 .E1 J815 2nd Floor
Holdings 1980-2003
Subject and Name Indexes

Official Journal of the European Communities: Annexes - Debates of the European Parliament

JX1984 .E12 D31 2nd Floor
Holdings 1973-1993
Ceased publication in print in 1999
JX1984 .E12 D31 2nd Floor microfiche
Holdings 1994-1996

Official Journal Special Edition

JX1984.E1 J82 2nd Floor
In 1973, most EU legislation then in effect was translated into English.

Official Journal CE Series

Beginning in July 1999, major European Commission proposals are available in the CE Series. The full text of the CE Series is available on EurLex, Westlaw, and Lexis. A 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:


Journals from January 1, 1998 forward are available on the Web. Some recent documents are in PDF.


Coverage from 1952 to present.


L Series - EU-LEG Coverage from 1952 to present
C Series - EU-OJCSERIES Coverage from 1992 to present
Documents published after 1997 are available in PDF

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, the document segment Title with "77/780"
  • In Westlaw, the field Title with "77/780"
  • In EurLex, search the Legislation database by Document Number
  • In Lawtel, search the Adopted Legislation or Proposed Legislation databases by Document Number

The Chronological Index of Volume II of the Directory ofCommunity Legislation in Force ("CLIF" located in 3 rd Floor Reference JX1981 .R261) 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 Westlaw and LexisNexis are derived from CELEX, the Arthur W. Diamond Law Library does not subscribe to CELEX.

To find documents by CELEX number, search

  • In Westlaw in the Field Restriction called "Celex-number" or use the field name CLX

Note: A Celex number is normally a series of 10 alphanumeric symbols. In Westlaw, the Celex number does not contain the first two digits of the year of publication ("19" or "20") and therefore consists of 8 symbols.

Example: Celex number is 41987D0597.

  • In Westlaw, use 487D0597.
  • In LexisNexis in the Document Segment called "DOC-NUMBER" and use the complete 10 symbol CELEX number.
  • In Lawtel, in any of the databases, search by entering the full 10 symbol CELEX number in the text box.

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 Westlaw and Lexis may be "easier," but a search of print sources frequently is more effective and efficient.

Electronic Databases

Similar to legal research in the U.S., legal research in European Union law can be done effectively with Westlaw and Lexis. Lawtel is also available for EU legislative research.

  • In Lawtel, one has the the ability to focus the search to proposed or adopted legislation. It is also possible to search press releases, background information and notices from the EU legislative bodies.
  • In Westlaw, search the database EU-ALL to ensure you search all types of EU documents (directives, orders, treaties, etc.).
  • In Lexis, search EURCOM; ECLAW, which is equivalent to EU-ALL.
  • 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 Westlaw and Lexis.


This web page provides summaries of EU activities, organized by subject area. The page is organized to allow multiple serch strategies. It is possible to choose a broad subject and review the summary Keyword searching is also available and there is an A-Z Index of the contents.

Directory of Community Legislation in Force

Available on Eurlex, this database includes legislation classified according to the Directory of Community legislation. Legislation is organized into 20 chapters based on subject.The electronic version contains hypertext links to EU documents. Some are available in PDF.

In Print

Directory of Communities Legislation in Force and other Acts of the Community Institutions
JX1981 .R261 3rd Floor Reference

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 1 st and July 1 st .

European Union Law Reporter
JX1984 .E6 C74 2nd Floor

This loose-leaf service published by CCH was mentioned earlier under Introductory Texts and Treaties. Vol. 4 contains a useful topical index to an analysis of EU law which contains citations to the Official Journal.

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:

JX1984.E1 C7371 2nd Floor Microfiche

The Diamond Law Library owns documents from 1992 forward.

COM documents are available in the following electronic databases:

  • EurLex - Prepartory Acts
  • Westlaw: EU Preparatory Acts EU-ACTS
  • Lexis: EC Preparatory Acts EURCOM; PREP

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.

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.

A Register of Council Documents is available online since January 1999. The register is searchable and some documents are available full-text.

Monthly Summaries of Council Acts have been prepared by the General Secretariat of the Council since January 1999.

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

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

Debates of the European Parliment are located in a searchable database at the European Parliament's web site. An Index to the Debates and Texts Adopted for 1984-1999 is available on the European Parliment's website.

Official Journal of the European Communities: Annexes - Debates of the European Parliament

JX1984 .E12 D31 2nd Floor
Ceased publication in print in 1999
JX1984 .E12 D31 2nd Floor microfiche
Post-1999 debates are available in microfiche

Reports of the European Parliament

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, communications from Parliament

Session Documents are divided into three series:
  • A Series contains committee reports which are referred to by document number such as PE DOC A ____.
  • 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.

Session Documents

JX1984.E12 Se74 2nd Floor Microfiche
Holdings from 1995 - 1996
JX1984.E12 Se74 2nd Floor
Holdings from 1987 - 1994

Working Documents [Session Documents]

JX1984.E12 W891 2nd Floor
Holdings from 1973 - 1987

Documents de Séance [Session Documents]

JX1984.E12 D5 2nd Floor
Holdings from 1958 - 1973 (in French)

Parliamentary documents after 1996 are available on Europarl.

Parliamentary Questions

Members of the European Parliament regularly question European Commissioners on EU policy. The European Parliment provides a searchable database of these parlimentary questions and responses.
Parliamentary Questions are also available in the OJ C Series through 1999.
On Lexis, in database EURCOM; PARLQ (since 1964)
On Westlaw, in database EU-QUESTIONS (since 1993)

Economic and Social Committee Documents

Many documents are available on their official web site

Annual Report

JX1984 .E13 An8 2nd Floor
Holdings 1973 - 1983


JX1984 .E13 B82 2nd Floor
Holdings 1973 - present
JX1984 .E13 B8 (in French) 2nd Floor
Holdings 1961-1972

Committee of the Regions Documents

The official web site contains searchable databases of opinions and resolutions of the Committee. Press releases and the Committee's recent Activity Reports are also available.

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 is a database maintained by the European Commission that collects the documents issued at each step of the legislative process. It is searchable by keyword, document number, citation, etc. and includes hypertext links to relevant documents.

OEIL, the Legislative Observatory

Maintained by the European Parliament, OEIL provides a synopsis of legislative procedures taken in enacting legislation. Searchable by document number, title of document and other means.

Directory of Communities Legislation in Force and other Acts of the Community Institutions

JX1981 .R261 3rd Floor Reference

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 1 st and July 1 st .

The Directory of Communities Legislation in Force is also available on EurLex. The electronic version contains hypertext links to EU documents. Some are available in PDF.


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

As mentioned above, there are four principal types of EU legislation. While regulations are directly applicable to member states, directives require legislative action on the part of each member country. National implementing legislation must be enacted to enforce the objective of a directive.

In order to determine if national legislation has been enacted in response to EU legislation, the researcher has several aids.


In Eurlex, click on "bibliographic notice" for a directive. In this section, click on "Display National Implementing Measures" to display a list of national laws implementing the directive.

Secretariat-General: Application of Community Law

The application of community law is gathered in reports on this website. It includes sections on a Calendar for transposition of Directives; Progress in notification of national measures implementing directives; Infringements; and State Aids.


Includes information on implementing information, organized by topic.

Westlaw and Lexis

In both Westlaw and Lexis, 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 - EURCOM; NATPRV

This LexisNexis database contains summaries of citations to national legislation passed in response to EU laws. Coverage is from 1989 to current.

Commercial Laws of Europe (Sweet & Maxwell)
Comp 600.2 C73 Cellar

Originally, this was a monthly publication of the important national legislation passed in Western Europe, including national legislation implementing EU directives and English translations of selected statutes. Beginning in 1990, the Commercial Laws of Europe became a yearly compilation. As part of the table of contents, volumes of this text include "E.C. Legislation Implemented", which chronologically lists the directive numbers and information relating to the tilte of the national legislation and the member country.

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.

Official Publications


Curia is the official website for the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance. It provides a description of the institutions and their history and composition. It also provides access to the decisions of both courts. On Curia's main page there is a guide for users which explains the search methods available for case law. The Case Law page provides access to the search forms and chronological lists of the cases decided by both the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance. Decisions since June 1997 are available on the Web and full text searching is possible for both courts. Decisions are available by case number since the European Court of Justice's inception in 1953. After 1989, case numbers for the European Court of Justice begin with "C-". Decisions of the Court of First Instance are available by case number since the Court's inception in 1989. Case numbers for the Court of First Instance begin with "T-".

Reports of Cases before the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance
(commonly known as the European Court Reports or ECR)
JX1984 .E3 R32 2nd Floor
Holdings: 1954 to present
Latest opinions are located in 3rd Floor Reserve

Official reporter of cases before the Court of Justice of the European Union. The ECR is divided into three sections: I refers to decisions from the European Court of Justice; II refers to decisions from the Court of First Instance; III refers to staff cases. Publication of decisions in this reporter is frequently delayed by 18 months or longer due to the need to translate them in to all the official languages of the EU.

Annual Report: Synopsis of the Work of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance of the European Communitites
JX1984.E3 R299 2nd Floor

This resource provides information of the activities of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance. There are summaries of the cases heard, information of the current judges and changes in the membership over the year. Detailed statistical information is presented relating to numbers and types of cases heard by each court. CURIA provides online access to the case summaries and statiistics from the Annual Reports.

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

Finding Aids for EU Case Law by Subject

The European Court of Justice makes available the following sources on its web site. These are accessed by using the "Research Tools" link.

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)
Pamphlets describing the publications of the Court

Electronic Databases (Case Law)


This database provides comprehensive access to cases from both the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance since 1989, including information from the initial application to the final judgment. Full text of the opinions is available online for cases since 1997. The database is updated regularly, with new cases added within twenty-four hours of their appearance on the Court of Justice website.

Database name: EURCOM; ECJ

This database, derived from EUR-Lex, the official legal database from the European Union, contains cases from both the European Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance.

Database name: EU-CS-ALL

Contains European case law from both the official European Court Reports as well as selected commercial law reporters of European Union case law.

Commercial Print Sources

European Community Cases (CCH)

JX1984 .E6 C7412 2nd Floor
Holdings: 1989 - present
(formerly known as Common Market Reporter)
JX 1984 .E6 C74 2nd Floor
Holdings: 1961 through 1988
Selected European Commission and European Court of Justice decisions, including opinions of advocate-generals. Headnotes precede each case. Table of contents. Topic index. List of authorities cited.

Common Market Law Reports (Sweet & Maxwell)

JX1982 .L3 C73 2nd Floor
Holdings 1962 to present
Selected cases from both the European Court of Justice and the appellate courts of individual member nations that resolve questions of European Union law. Published weekly, this is a roundup of actions of the European Court of Justice.

C.M.L.R. Antitrust Reports (Sweet & Maxwell)

JX1982 .L3 C7311 2nd Floor
Holdings 1991 - present
JX1982 .L3 C731 2nd Floor
Holdings 1988 - 1990
Focuses on European Union documents dealing with mergers, acquisitions, and antitrust issues. Summary of European Commission actions, status of cases before the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. Decisions of the European Court of Justice, European Commission decisions. List of Cases Reported. Index.

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)

JX1981 .B8701 2nd Floor
Holdings 1994 - present
JX1981 .B87 2nd Floor
Holdings 1968-1993
JX1984 .E6 B875 2nd Floor
Holdings 1958 - 1967
Published monthly by the European Commission
Since 1996, the Bulletin is available on Europa.

General Report on the Activities of the Communities (Union)

JX1984 .E1 G3 2nd Floor
Holdings 1967 - present
Annual report of the Commission to the European Parliament
The text of the Reports since 1997 are available on Europa, as are summaries of 1995 and 1996 Reports.

EU Publications Portal

The EU Publications Portal provides a reference list of all the EU institutions and agencies websites and the publications available through them. There are two means of searching the publications: a thematic index covering European Union policies and activities and an alphabetical list of all the sites or web-pages referenced in the portal.

Publications Office

The Publications Office is responsible for producing and distributing EU publications on all media and by all means. It distributes a quarterly newsletter, updating released EU publications and the most recent releases are highlighted on the home page. The website provides information on online access of select publications, as well as ordering instructions.

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 particularly useful in EU legal research. For additional information on finding legal and non-legal articles, please see Finding Books and Articles on International and Foreign Law.


Legal Journals Index (LJI)

Available on Westlaw, this database indexes articles from legal journals published in the United Kingdom and Europe, as well as journals covering topics pertaining to the law of the European Union and its member states. Westlaw coverage is 1986 to the present.
Note: This database includes up-to-date information that used to be covered in the print indexes, Legal Journals Index and European Legal Journals Index, both of which have ceased publication.
Legal Journals Index (print)
KD59 .L43 3rd Floor Reserve
Print 1986-1999; ceased publication in print in 1999.
An index of United Kingdom and English language journals. Beginning in 1993, journals devoted to European law were indexed in the companion index, European Legal Journals Index.
European Legal Journals Index (print)
Comp 065.1 Eu74 3rd Floor Reserve
Print 1993-1999; ceased publication in print in 1999.
A complement to the Legal Journals Index in print, this resource serves as an index to British and European legal journals focused on European law.


LAWTEL includes an "Articles Index" providing article abstracts from journals that specialize in European Union law. Coverage varies depending on individual journals, with the earliest beginning in 1999. Also of interest is the "Commentary" section which includes expert commentary on specific aspects or new developments of European Union law.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals
Comp 065.1 In8 3rd Floor Reserve and Cellar

Print coverage from 1960 to present
IFLP is also available online with coverage from 1985.
Contains citations to articles in journals published abroad in English and other languages. Print version has subject, geographical and author indexes.


ECLAS is the catalog of the European Commission Library. It includes documents on European affairs as well as the departmental collections of 20 directorates general. The catalog also includes web resources and secondary sources that were previously cataloged in SCAD. This database is an index and does not contain full-text documents.


EURISTOTE is a searchable database of abstracts of Ph.D. dissertation and post-doctoral research on European integration conducted at European universities.

Selected Journals

European Current Law
Comp 119 Eu74 Cellar

Monthly Digest and Annual Cumulation
Contains digests of European Union legislation, cases and articles organized by subject; cumulative subject index

Common Market Law Review
JX1981 C7371 2nd Floor

Holdings 1963 - present
Quarterly journal

European Law Review
JX1981 Eu74065 2nd Floor

Holdings 1975 - present
Bimonthly journal

EU Focus: Essential Developments in EU Law and Policy
JX 1981 Eu1 2nd Floor

Biweekly journal
Topical summaries of EU legal developments.
Holdings: 1997 - present.

Journal of Common Market Studies
JX 1981 J826 2nd Floor

Holdings 1962 - present.
Electronic access to this journal is available through Columbia.

European Yearbook
JX1 An92 2nd Floor

Holdings 1955 - present
Each annual volume contains a chapter on EU legal developments.

Yearbook of European Law (Oxford University Press)
JX 1 Y329 2nd Floor

Holdings 1981 - present
Contains selected articles on European legal topics and book reviews

European Journal of International Law
JX 1 Eu746 Cellar

Contains systematic coverage of the relationship between international law and EU law.
Electronic access for issues since 1990 is available.

European Integration Current Contents

European Integration Current Contents 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

Jean Monnet Working Papers provides information on EU law and politics, conferences, and research papers.
Sponsored by the Jean Monnet Chair of the New York University Law School

Research Guides

  • LLRX
European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research
  • European Commission Delegation, Washington, D.C.
Essential European Union Law Websites
  • Georgetown University
Edward Bennett Williams Law Library
European Union Research Guide
  • University of California - Berkeley
European Union Internet Resources
  • New York University Law Library
European Union, European Commission - Web Guide
  • American Society for International Law
ASIL Guide to Electronic Resources for International Law
Click on International Economic Law, then on Regional Economic Integration, then scroll down to the European Union section.
  • Claire Germain, Germain's Transnational Law Research: A Guide for Attorneys. Transnational Juris Publications, 1991 -.
Section 2.09 contains information on EU legal materials.
Comp 077 G317 3rd Floor Reference
  • 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).
Comp 077 Ac25 1998 3rd Floor Reference

European Union Depository Libraries

With the extensive EU collection in the Arthur W. Diamond Law 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. 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 Reference Office on the 3 rd floor of the Law Library and ask for assistance from a reference librarian .

However, the European Union does maintain depository libraries in the United States and throughout the world. Depository libraries receive most official EU publications at no charge and in exchange provide access to the public to these EU materials. The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library is not an EU depository library. The Delegation of the European Commission in the USA provides a complete listing of EU depository libraries in the United States on their website.

The following libraries in the New York City area are EU depository libraries:


Appendix A


Number of Parliament Members from each Member State

Austria 18
Belgium 24
Bulgaria 18
Czech Republic 24
Cyprus 6
Denmark 14
Estonia 6
Finland 14
France 78
Germany 99
Greece 24
Hungary 24
Ireland 13
Italy 78
Latvia 9
Lithuania 13
Luxembourg 6
Malta 5
Netherlands 27
Poland 54
Portugal 24
Romania 35
Slovakia 14
Slovenia 7
Spain 54
Sweden 19
United Kingdom 78

Appendix B


Eur. Y.B. European Yearbook
2nd Floor JX1 An92
U.N.T.S. United Nations Treaty Series
2nd Floor JX1976 .A21 T71
J.O. Journal Officiel des Communautes Europeens
2nd Floor JX1984.E1 J8
I.L.M. International Legal Materials: Current Documents
2nd Floor JX60 In8

Appendix C


European Commission
European Court of Justice
European Parliament
Curia - Case Law
EU Website List

Appendix D


Following the May 2004 and January 2007enlgargements, there are twenty-two official languages in the European Union:


Please send comments regarding this guide to Karin Johnsrud, Reference Librarian, Columbia University, Diamond Law Library, at