Free EUR-Lex, N-Lex & EUROPA for EU legal research

EUR-Lex is the European Union’s free and official site to access EU law.  The EU publishes its treaties and secondary legislation (regulations, directives and decisions) in an official gazette which is currently titled the Official Journal of the European Union.  EUR-Lex includes:

  • All issues of the Official Journal (in PDF) from 1998- and many issues of the Official Journal from 1952- (the EU’s goal is to provide all issues here)
  • EU treaties currently in force, including consolidated versions of treaties that the EU amended frequently over time, such as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty on European Union
  • EU treaties in a chronological list dating back to the founding of the European Coal and Steel Community
  • Accession treaties of new EU member states
  • Search features, including the ability to search: by type of document (file category) + keywords; by document number; and by Official Journal cite or European Court Reports (E.C.R.) cite
An enhanced beta version of EUR-Lex currently offers:

In future, the new EUR-Lex also will provide an “authentic electronic version” of the European Court Reports and the ability to view an EU document in up to 3 languages simultaneously.

EU directives apply to all EU member states.  Each EU member state can devise its own means of transposing the goals in a directive into national law. Thus, member state national implementing measures might be in the form of laws, regulations or constitutional amendments.  N-Lex is a gateway (still under development) to find EU member states’ national implementing legislation.  One can search N-Lex by keywords/document type/document number to find an EU member’s national implementing legislation.  N-Lex also allows a researcher to link out to an EU member’s official site containing all available legislation.

The EU also provides free tools to identify its legislation by topic:
Also, I can show BLS researchers how to search our catalog for treatises about EU legal topics, and how to use tools that index legal articles (such as free SSRN and databases LRI and LJI in subscription Westlaw Classic).