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European Union Collection Guide

The Government Publications Library (GPL) of the University Libraries houses the main collection of official European Union (EU) publications distributed under their Depository Library program. Since the inception of this program in 1963 the library has received one copy of each officially published work designated for deposit. Many EU publications are also available at the University of Minnesota Law Library. For a basic introduction to the EU itself, see The European Union at a Glance.

The European Union is unique among international organizations. It has the power to create measures which have the force of law for member nations and, in many cases, their citizens. Each of the governing institutions has its own role in the EU's management, its own publication patterns, and its own numbering system. There is no coordinated indexing system, making research in EU materials a special challenge. Most publications are printed in all of the official languages. The library receives most publications in English only, even though the cataloging record in the library catalog will show all languages.

The EU uses the Internet as an information tool extensively. However, older materials often are not available in electronic form. The use of a variety of indexes and formats is the best way to be sure that research is complete.

Table of Contents:

Searching for EU Publications
Virtually all EU publications now appear in MNCAT with Library of Congress call numbers and subject headings.

When searching MNCAT, an effective method is to

  1. Choose the advanced search (advanced search screen example).
  2. Choose the publisher keywords search option (search type options) for one box and fill it in with "european communities".
  3. Next, use the other boxes to add additional keywords on your topic.
  4. Finally, MNCAT includes records for all libraries on campus, including the Law Library. So be sure to note the location information on the record.
  5. For more help searching MNCAT, see Using MNCAT to Find Specialized Materials.


Basic EU Publications Legislative Materials
  • Alphabetical Index and Methodological Table to the Official Journal of the European Union
    The Alphabetical Index to the Official Journal, issued monthly and cumulated annually, can be helpful when one knows the year and subject.

    The Methodological Table to the Official Journal, also issued monthly and cumulated annually, lists regulations, directives, other acts and Court decisions by number. The numbers for issues containing written questions are listed. With the exception of Court of Justice cases, no indexing is done for other items published in the C Series of the OJ.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Gov Pub Microfiche: EC. Beginning of the OJ Microfiche. Also Law Library.

  • LexisNexis Academic
    http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/3317
    LexisNexis Academic is a collection of online databases that includes access to CELEX, the European Union Law database. Need some Lexis-Nexis searching help? Try our guided exercise on Searching LexisNexis Academic.
  • CES Opinions and Reports
    Economic and Social Committee. Texts of opinions of the ESC, with occasional reports included. Cited as "CES." Microfiche. Indexed in the Documents catalog.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Gov Pub Microfiche: EC. Economic and Social Committee.
  • COM Documents
    The proposals and amendments issued by the Commission, along with policy documents and reports on policy implementation. Cited as "COM Doc." Microfiche. Indexed in the Documents catalog and Eurocat.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Gov Pub Microfiche: EC. COM Documents
  • Consolidated Texts of Community Legislation
    http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/consleg/index1.html
    Catalog of consolidated texts published in the series Collection of Consolidated Texts. Organized according to the structure of the Directory of Community Legislation in Force and Other Acts of the European Community Institutions. Includes titles and reference numbers.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Gov Pub (Legal): Row 21.
  • EUR-Lex
    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/en/index.htm
    EUR-Lex provides full-text access to the Official Journal of the European Union, treaties, international agreements, legislation in force, preparatory acts, case law and parliamentary questions.
  • Official Journal of the European Union (Electronic Editions)
    http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/JOIndex.do?ihmlang=en
    The EC's official gazette, previously called the Official Journal of the European Communities, the OJ contains the texts of legislation and other official acts. It is published in several parts; the main ones are: Communications, "C" series: Informational notices and Legislation, "L" series: Regulations, directives.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Gov Pub (Desk Ref). Call No: CD-ROM KJE908 .O343x. Parts L and C.
  • Official Journal of the European Union (Microfiche)
    The EC's official gazette, previously called the Official Journal of the European Communities, the OJ contains the texts of legislation and other official acts. It is published in several parts; the main ones are: Communications, "C" series: Informational notices and Legislation, "L" series: Regulations, directives.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Gov Pub Microfiche: EC. Official Journal. Part C & Part L
  • Prelex
    http://europa.eu.int/prelex/apcnet.cfm?CL=en
    PreLex, the database on inter-institutional procedures follows the major stages of the decision-making process between the Commission and the other institutions:
    • stage of the procedure;
    • decisions of the institutions;
    • persons' names;
    • services responsible;
    • references of documents- etc,
    and monitors the works of the various institutions involved (European Parliament, Council, ESC, Committee of the Regions, European central Bank, Court of Justice, etc.).
    PreLex follows all Commission proposals (legislative and budgetary dossiers, conclusions of international agreements) and communications from their transmission to the Council or the European Parliament.
  • Reports of the European Parliament
    http://www.europarl.europa.eu/registre/recherche/ListeDocuments.cfm#
    European Parliament. Session documents, committee reports and working papers of the Parliament. Cited as "PE Doc." Microfiche. Indexed in Documents catalog.
    • Location(s): Location: TC Wilson Library Gov Pub Microfiche: EC. European Parliament. Working papers (reports)
Reference Tools Finding Tools
  • European Community as a Publisher
    Abridged guide to popular sales and free publications, listing currently available publications issued over a period of years.
    • Location(s): Call Number: HC241.2 .A1 E9752x Location: Wilson Gov Pub (Reference)
  • Publications of the European Communities. Catalogue.
    Office for Official Publications. Information on sales publications issued during a given year, both monographs and serials. Classified list with keyword, title and series indexes.
    • Location(s): Call Number: JN15 .O34x Location: Wilson Gov Pub (Reference)
Statistics
  • European Economy. Reports and Studies.
    http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/europeaneconomy_en.htm
    A series of reports issued under the series title "European Economy", but cataloged in MNCAT by each report's title, not "European Economy". Reports online appear not to duplicate reports cataloged in MNCAT.
  • European economy. Supplement C, Economic reform monitor
    http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/publications/europeaneconomy_en.htm
    This series provided brief overviews of economic developments and the progress of reform in the Candidates Countries.
    • Location(s): TC Wilson Library Gov Pub (LC) Quarto HC241.2 .E85713x
    TC Wilson Library Gov Pub (LC) Quarto HC241.2 .E85715x
  • Eurostat
    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/eurostat/home/
    The Eurostat website contains a mix of statistical information in PDF pages, pre-defined tables and interactive databases. The coverage varies by topic, but some data goes back at least to 1929. All content is freely available.
    • Guide to Eurostat
      See http://tinyurl.com/33lg4w for help with Eurostat.
  • ProQuest Statistical Insight
    http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/2222
    LexisNexis Statistical, a database that gives bibliographic citations, abstracts, and links to selected full-text tables and web sites when available, covers European Union publications. The Government Publications Library has the companion microfiche collections which include copies of almost all the publications indexed in this database.


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