European Union Legislation

Finding EU Legislation

Legislation can be divided into two main types:

Primary Legislation

The various treaties establishing and amending these treaties.

Secondary legislation

Also called subordinate or delegated legislation. The main instruments of secondary legislation are regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions and are all published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJ).

Recommended site Eurlex

The official EU gateway to legal information, containing the Treaties, legislation, case-law, official documents (preparatory legislation) and the Official Journal (OJ).

Secondary Legislation

EURLEX: Search in Legislation

The EURLEX is the official EU portal for EU law and provides complete collections of EU legal texts. This search engine allows searching for specific documents by citation (natural number) or category e.g. legislation, case-law or a general search by terms or EUROVOC keywords (EUROVOC is a EU thesaurus which provides controlled keywords for different topics).

The Official Journal of The European Communities (OJ)

All secondary legislation is published in the 'L (Legislation) Series' of the Official Journal (often referred to as OJ L) and is located in print format in the Albert Sloman Library European Documentation Centre on Floor 4 at classmark J 280.2. The L series is published daily and divided into two sections. The first contains acts whose publication is obligatory, eg Regulations; the second section contains acts whose publication is not obligatory, eg Directives, Decisions, etc. The official journal is also available in pdf format from 1998 onwards on Eurlex.

Recommended site Summaries of EU Legislation

The 'Summaries of EU legislation' website presents the main aspects of European Union (EU) legislation in a concise & easy-to-read manner. It forms part of the Europa portal, which is published by the EU institutions.

Westlaw: EU Legislation EU-LEG

Full text of legislative acts of the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament, and the European Commission reported in the Official Journal of the European Community, L Series, including international agreements; secondary legislation such as regulations and European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) general decisions, directives, and recommendations; and supplementary legislation (legislation resulting from agreements between member states). Coverage begins with 1952. The File EU-LEG is located in the Westlaw UK directory under European Union > Legislation. See the database menu for access to Westlaw and database guide for search help.

Lexis Library: EU Legislation

The EU Legislation file on LNB covers Decisions, Directives and Regulations of the European Union. Also included, under the heading 'Other', are Notices, Communications, Guidelines, Recommendations, Common Positions, comfort letters from the Commission, and Information. Within the 'Consolidated Law' folder are weekly updated PDFs of the Official Journal entries for all EU legislation searchable by Celex number.

EU Implementation in Domestic Law


A common gateway to national implementing measures which aims to help facilitate access to information on how directives have been transposed by 22 of the member states (Cyprus, Hungary and Latvia are not included).


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