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Guide to Foreign & Int'l Legal Databases

Foreign & Int'l Search

Business, Bankruptcy, Banking,  Finance

Council of Europe

Electronic Citation

Environmental Law

European Union 

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European Union, European Commission


European Union Research (NYU Law Library)
START HERE if you are researching the European Union, especially for law-related research. Decide what type of material you need (Treaties, legislation, scholarly books and articles, general information about the EU, etc.), and this guide will point you to the relevant information sources and official EU documents, whether in print or online. It has links to databases of EU law and to many websites, including the websites of the major EU institutions. 

Accessing European Union Information 
By the Office of Press and Public Affairs of the Delegation of the European Commission in  Washington, DC. It  provides links to primary sources as well as to secondary sources.

Columbia University: Western Europe & the European Union Information Sources 

Quick List of European Union databases:

Archive of European Integration (AEI)
The AEI is an electronic repository and archive for research materials on the topic of European integration and unification. The goal is to collect research materials - working papers, policy papers, conference papers, small monographs, pre-prints, etc. - on this topic both for current use and for permanent archiving.

Bulletin of the European Union  
The formerly Bulletin of the European Communities is useful for tracking the legislative process and gathering citations to documents. For more information visit European Foreign Policy Bulletin (1985 -present).

Celex Web Service  
Free of charge.  It includes the full text of legislation published in the Official Journal of the European Communities in the L Series and the citations to information in the C Series. The texts of WESTLAW and LexisNexis documents are enhanced with the same cross-references as the documents in CELEX. The CELEX website is no longer updated since 1 January 2005; it can be used to search for documents dated before 31 December 2004. Users are invited to use the new EUR-Lex website (http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex), which incorporates the CELEX features and provides free and easy access in 20 languages to the largest documentary database on EU law.

Commission of the  European Community  
As the Union's executive body, the Commission manages policies and negotiates international trade and cooperation agreements. Directorates-General and Services, set up the the internal market and information society policies.

Consolidated Legislation and Index  
Via Eur-Lex.

Council of the European Union 
Access to Documents: Public Register of Documents, Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Justice and Home Affairs.

CURIA - Court of Justice and Court of First Instance  
Has unofficial texts (released ahead of the print versions). Under Recent case-law, the texts of cases since mid-1997 are searchable by case number, name, date, words, and broad subjects. Under Numerical access to case-law are cases back to the beginning of the Court, but texts before mid-1997 are not searchable. The following online finding tools are under construction and cover limited years and languages:Research and Documentation; Digest of Community Case-Law; Alphabetical Index of subject matter; Annotations of the judgments (by legal commentators); Recent Case Law; Numerical Access.

The Catalog of the European Commission Libraries. ECLAS lists books, articles (including the articles formerly listed in SCAD), documents, and publications.

It provides news and activities by sectors of EU activity (agriculture, competition, etc.). You can find texts of or citations to the treaties, legislation in force, legislation in preparation, recent case law, the Directorates-General and EU agencies, and other sources of information. There are links to institutions websites, to official documents, EUR-Lex, Bulletin of the European Union (monthly), General Report  (annual), European Council, Presidency Conclusions.

EUR-Lex The portal to European Union law 
As the one-stop portal to EU law, it is a great place to start, but it does not contain all documents for earlier years.  EUR-Lex texts of legislation are not enhanced with all the CELEX cross-references to related documents that WESTLAW and Lexis/Nexis provide.  EUR-Lex contains treaties, the Official Journal L, C and C-E Series in PDF back to Jan. 1, 1998, Legislation in Force (html, not PDF) accessible through the Directory of Community Legislation in Force; Legislation in preparation, including COM documents and other preparatory documents;  Case law: ECJ, plus links to Court of the EFTA and European Court of Human Rights; Parliamentary questions; Documents of public interest, including white papers and green papers. To check directives implementation, have your directive on screen then click on "bibliographic notice" and "display the national implementation measure".  EUR-Lex also provides links to:

  • Pre-Lex and Oeil for tracking legislation

  • Other EU document sources, such as the Parliament, the Court of Justice, and websites of Member States

Word searching (click on Help for searching instructions)

  • Quick=search of plain text words in the documents and web pages in EUR-Lex only

  •  All=search by document number, words, date, and language across all documents or in a file (e.g.,O.J.). 

  • Results lists may include documents not available in EUR-Lex.


The Statistical Office of the European Communities. Its task is to provide statistics that enable comparisons between countries and regions. The free electronic publications are only in pdf format. Clients who want data in excel or other formats for manipulation still need to pay a Eurostat  Data Shop for the extraction. There is also another free source for trade data by  country/product on the DG Trade Market Access Database.

European Voice
An online weekly newspaper which reports and analyzes the activities of the Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers and also covers European business and industry news. Password Required.

European Parliament and OEIL The Legislative Observatory
The database contains plenary sessions, verbatim reports (April 1996-);     reports (July 1994-);minutes, July 1994-; texts adopted (July 1994-);
Legislative Dossiers. Tracks legislative proposals (1994-) and provides citations to related documents.

European Research Papers Archive (ERPA )
The Archives include over 200 online papers in the field of European integration research, published under the auspices of the following institutions: the Harvard Jean Monnet Chair; the European University Institute (EUI, Florence); the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Societies (Cologne); ARENA (Oslo);  the European Integration online Papers (EIoP)

IATE--the Inter-Active Terminology for Europe
It  is the terminology/translation database system used by the institutions of the European Union since 2004. IATE incorporates many legacy databases, including the well-known multilingual EURODICAUTOM, the European Commission's terminology system dating back to the early 1970s.

Information Society Project Office
ISPO aims to promote cooperation and development in the various areas of the Information Society. ISPO acts as a bridge builder between Commission Services and external organizations interested in the Information Society.

LAWTEL Main Menu EU & Legal Journals Index
Legal database with fast, easy, intuitive access to the law. Offers a unique range of information from case law to legislation.

A database on national law in experimental stage. Check also for national laws the Institutional and Legal Internet SitesTo see how the enlargement countries have implemented directives into their own legislation go to TAIEX.

Contains legislation in preparation on a topic and related preparatory acts. and is monitoring the decisions-making process. Tracks legislative proposals (1975-) and provides citations to related documents. Links allow the user to reach the electronic available texts, COM documents, Official Journal, Bulletin of the European Union, documents of the European Parliament, press releases. OEIL from the EU Parliament tracks also the progress of proposals.

The Spokesman's Service of the European Commission press releases. In order to access, use the username -guest and the password -guest.  Publishes daily press releases on developments.


Contains summaries about major policy areas with legislative follow-up, a list of legislation in force, and citations to national implementing legislation. For a subject approach, browse the summaries of legislation. The fact sheets provide summaries with links to full text and follow up and legislative proposals. See the updates on EU Commissions home pages.

Treaty of Amsterdam: A Comprehensive Guide   
Could be also found on Europa's servers.

Treaty of Nice
Housed in The Commission database, includes the text, explanatory summaries, ratification status, and background documents for the preparation of the Intergovernmental Conference. The Parliament has a site on the Intergovernmental Conference with background documents.

This page was updated August 16, 2007