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Official Publications: European Union

European Union

The Library’s collection of publications from the European Union date back to the early 1950s and all print materials are shelved in Law and Official Publications on Floor 2 of the McClay Library.

The classification assigned to the print collection is JY10 – JY850.

Basic documents, indexes, agreements and treaties are located JY10 to JY70. Overall, the publications are arranged under their issuing body with e.g. European Commission at JY90, European Parliament at JY100 and European Court of Justice at JY200. Further subdivision is by subject where necessary. Due to the quantity of documents produced, many are assigned a general classification, e.g. JY300, Enlargement. 

Publications can be found using the Library Catalogue advanced search with guidance from the Searching tab. 

Access to online documents and publications is available through a number of resources outlined in this guide. As there is no single source for all full text online publications, it is helpful to understand the responsibilities of the EU institutions and bodies in order to identify relevant literature sources. 

European Union print and online access

The Europa website provides free access to documents, reports and data from entities across the EU. Organised by issuing body and topic this is a quick find with a browse approach for recently published materials. A range of raw data is also available through the Open Data and European Data portals. The following are quick links to the key EU institutions and bodies and their publications.

European Commission publications in print are located at JY90. 

The European Commission publications website provides access to planning and strategy documents, studies and official notices along with EU Laws, and public opinion documents. It can be searched by publication type, country and department and covers materials from 2010 onwards.

Print copies of European Parliament Working Documents are held in the Library for the period 1976-1989. They are shelved in numerical order at JY100(P2). Documents for 1985-1997 are available on microfiche and are shelved at MIcfB JY100.P2

The European Parliament website contains full text of debates along with other Parliamentary business which can be found under the 'Plenary' heading. Committee reports, opinions etc. from 2004 onwards can be found on the 'Committee' pages while positions adopted by Parliament, joint texts etc from 1999 onwards can be found under the 'Plenary' heading. 

  • The Legislation section (L) of the Official Journal contains secondary legislation enacted by the Commission and the Council. Publication of this legislation is mandatory. The Information & Notices section (C) of the Official Journal contains proposals for legislation and new research programmes, reports of activities of the main institutions, and official announcements. ‘Calls for Proposals’ relating to new research programmes are also published here. The Library no longer holds print copies of the Official Journal; issues for 1952-1957 are held on microfiche at MifB/JY50.P1.

Official Journal via EUR-Les webside (1952 onwards) provides full text access to the Official Journal (L) section. 

  • Preparatory documents are used to prepare EU legislation and include Commission documents, Council positions, legislative proposals from the European Parliament and opinions from the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions.

They contain working documentation of the EU and include reports, communications and draft legislation. Each document is coded by document type, year and serial number.

Documents from the European Commission for example are coded and sometimes referred to as 'COM' documents. COM(2006) 370 is  the 370th document issued in 2006. The Library holds COM documents for the period 1983-1999 which are available on microfiche. Selected print copies of COM documents for the period up to 2002 are shelved in the EU collection by subject.

Preparatory acts from the EUR-Lex website (1972 onwards)  provides full text access to the preparatory documents.

  • The Law subject guide provides additional information including how to cite EU legislation and cases.

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is a consultative body of the European Union. Early Opinions and reports are shelved at MicfBJY91.P1 1984-2001.

The ECSC website makes later issues available.

The Library holds a range of EU statistical material, in its Eurostat series. Materials are organised by Eurostat theme and shelved at JY600. 

The Eurostat website holds key statistical information along with datasets with extensive archives as well as current analysis. Data is organised by theme and topic.

Tracing EU Publications

EU Bookshop search pages provide details of EU publications from 1952 onwards. Results can be filtered by format and are usually free to access.

Archive of European Integration (founded 2002) includes official European Community/European Union documents alongside independently-produced research materials and official European Community/European Union documents. 

European Research Papers Archive is an archive of online papers on European integration (founded 1998).