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Official Publications : European Union Publications

European Documentation Centre

The European Documentation Centre (EDC) can be found on Level 3 of the Hartley Library.  It contains official publications and documents of the institutions of the European Union, including legislation, proposals, reports and general publications which are divided up into two main sections: periodicals and monographs. All the material held in the EDC is Reference Only so can only be used in the library. 

The printed EDC materials are recorded on the library catalogue and the locations have the prefix EDC.

Very little printed material is now added to the EDC as most public documents from the European Union are freely available via the Europa website.

Europa: Gateway to the European Union

Europa is the official website of the European Union with documents in all the languages of the EU.  Below are a few of the useful areas which can be found on this portal. 

  • European Council - Sets the general political direction and priorities of the European Union
  • European Parliament - Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are directly elected by EU voters every five years
  • Council of the European Union - National ministers meet to discuss and – together with Parliament – adopt EU laws
  • European Commission - Appointed Commissioners and the EU’s civil service. The Commission proposes EU legislation and checks it is properly applied across the EU. Works in the interests of the EU as a whole
  • Court of Justice of the European Communities - EU law courts
  • Legislation and Treaties - Search the listed databases for specific EU laws or learn about different legislative procedures. Find information on the procedures for legal cooperation between EU governments
  • Your Life in the European Union - Information and legal advice on your rights to live, work and study abroad, including access to healthcare and consumer rights

Europa can sometimes be difficult to navigate so if you already know of a particular document you want to find, a general search engine such as Google is a quick and effective way to find information.  To ensure you only get relevant information when searching with Google, go to Advanced Search and put europa.eu into 'Search within a site or domain', this will limit your results to Europa pages only.

Other key online sources for European Union materials

Need Help?

If you need any help with either printed or online EU official publications, please ask for help by emailing libenqs@soton.ac.uk.



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