UCB Libraries


Political Science 4213:
Europe and the International System

  • Annual
  • COM

  • CEU
  • EurLex/
  • Official
  • Parliamentary

  • Treaties

  • Help

General report on the activities of the European Union


The General Report is published every year by the European Commission, and gives an account of the EU's major initiatives and achievements throughout the year.


Print: 1000 E19 R299, Government Information International Reference, 1967-1993, 1994-2007, 2009


Online: 2005 to the present


COM Documents


Commission legislative proposals, reports and policy papers (“communications”) sent to the Council/other institutions, and preparatory documents.


Print: 1969 (no. 925) to 1996 (no. 721) in print, 1000 E19 C371, Government Information International Documents


Microfiche: 1983 to 2002, 1000 E 19 C371, Government Information Office


Online: 1998 to the present from EurLex

2001 to the present from Register of Commission Documents.


Indexing and Access (dates vary):

Eur-Lex: Access to European Union Law




Council of the European Union (also known as Council of Ministers)


The EU's laws are made by the Council, together with the European Parliament. In most cases, the Council can only legislate on the basis of proposals submitted to it by the European Commission. It can ask the Commission to submit any proposals it may deem appropriate. Since the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, a million citizens may also sign a petition inviting the Commission to submit a proposal. This is the citizens' right of initiative.


Website: Council of the European Union Briefings, background notes, press releases, communiques, public debates and deliberations, and other information are available from 2006 to the present from the Press page under "Council Meetings".


Documentation of decisions appear in the OJC as the Common Position of the Council. Prior to 1994, these were announced in the OJC Series. The full text of Common Positions have been included in the OJC since 1994.


Official Journal: Information and Notices (OJC)


Microfiche: 1974 to 2005, 1000 E19 J826e C, Government Information Office.


Online: 1998 to the present from EurLex

2001 to the present from Register of Commission Documents.


Indexing and Access (dates vary):

Eur-Lex: Access to European Union Law




Eur-Lex: Access to European Union Law


Provides access to European Union law and other public documents. Includes the Official Journal (OJ), treaties, international agreements, legislation in force, preparatory acts (COM and SEC), case law, and parliamentary questions. Dates of coverage vary.




PreLex, the database on inter-institutional procedures follows the major states of the decision-making process between the Commission and the other institutions. It provides information about the state of the procedure, decisions of the institutions, person's names, services responsible, and references to documents.


It also monitors the works of the various instituions 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.

Links allow users to access directly the electronic texts available (COM documents, Official Journal, Bulletin of the European Union, documents of the European Parliament, press releases, etc.). Dates of coverage vary.


The Official Journal was published for the first time on 30 December 1952 as a single series (A). In April 1958 the A series was replaced by the P series. The P series existed from 1958 until 1967. Since January 1968 the OJ has been published in two separate series, L (Legislation) and C (Information and Notices).


Since 1998, an electronic version has been made available on EUR-Lex with every printed edition. All Official Journals are now being scanned and gradually uploaded to EUR-Lex in PDF format.


The L series contains EU legislation, including

  • regulations;
  • directives;
  • decisions;
  • recommendations;
  • opinions.

In addition, the Directory of Community legislation in force is published as part of the OJ Lseries. This directory lists references to the initial texts and to any subsequent amendments. It also includes references to agreements made and conventions signed by the European Union in the framework of external relations, binding acts under the EU Treaties, complementary acts, such as those of the Council of Ministers and Heads of State or Government, and other non-binding acts which are relevant for the institutions.


The C series contains EU information and notices, including
  • summaries of judgments of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance;
  • minutes of parliamentary meetings;
  • reports of the Court of Auditors;
  • parliamentary written questions and answers from the Council or Commission;
  • statements from the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions;
  • competition notices for recruitment by the EU institutions:
  • calls for expressions of interest for EU programmes and projects;
  • other documents published pursuant to EU legislation;
  • public contracts for food aid;
  • the table of contents of the OJ CE series.

Print: 1963-67, 1000 E19 J826 (French Language Edition), Government Information International


Microfiche: 1974 to 2005, 1000 E19 J826e C (Part C), Government Information Office


Microfiche: 1973 to 2005, 1000 E19 J826e L (Part L), Government Information Office


Online: 1998 to the present from EurLex

2001 to the present from Register of Commission Documents.


Indexing and Access (dates vary):

Eur-Lex: Access to European Union Law




European Parliament Website


Debates of the European Parliament


Print: 1973 to 1974, 1981, 1985, 1988-1999, 1000 E 19 J827e, Government Information International


Microfiche: Vol. 156 (1972) to Vol. 362 (1988), Government Information Office


Online: 2001 to the present, European Parliament Register of Documents. Select "More Criteria". Choose "Verbatim Report of Proceedings" under "Document Type" in the pull-down.


Index and access:


European Parliament Legislative Observatory


Print: 1973-1984 Includes an index by name and broad subject, 1000 E19 J827e Tables, Government Information International


Index 1984-1999 (pdf version of print index) Index by subject, personal name, adopted texts, and other access points.




The texts of the treaties are published in the Official Journal of the European Union, the official gazette of the EU. Other treaty series and commercial publications described below are also sources for the text of the EU treaties.


The founding treaties are frequently referred to as "primary legislation." In contrast, "secondary legislation" refers to directives, regulations and other forms of law described later in the section on Legislation.


Following is a list of the founding treaties that provide the legal basis for the EU:

  • Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, Apr. 18, 1951, 261 U.N.T.S. 140 (ECSC Treaty or Treaty of Paris). This treaty expired by its own terms on July 23, 2002.
  • Treaty Establishing the European Economic Community, Mar. 25, 1957, 298 U.N.T.S. 3, 4 Eur. Y.B. 412 (EEC Treaty or Treaty of Rome).
  • Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, Mar. 25, 1957, 298 U.N.T.S. 259, 5 Eur. Y.B. 454 (Euratom Treaty).
  • Treaty Establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities, Apr. 8, 1965, 1967 J.O. 152/1 (Merger Treaty).
  • Single European Act, Feb. 17, 1986, 1987 O.J. (L 169) 1.
  • Treaty on European Union, Feb. 7, 1992, 1992 O.J. (C 191) 1. (Union Treaty or Maastricht Treaty).
  • Treaty of Amsterdam Amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties Establishing the European Communities and Certain Related Acts, Oct. 2, 1997, 1997 O.J. (C 340) 1, (Treaty of Amsterdam).
  • Treaty of Nice Amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties Establishing the European Communities and Certain Related Acts, Feb. 26, 2001, 2001 O.J. (C 80) 1 (Treaty of Nice).
  • Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, Dec. 13, 2007, 2007 O.J. (C 306)1 (Lisbon Treaty).

Online: Founding Treaties


Need Help?


Government Information 9-5, Monday - Friday, 303-492-8834, govpubs@colorado.edu


How do I....General tips on library-related issues from the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries


The ABC of European Union Law by by Klaus Dieter Borchardt


Citation Standards for EU Materials University of Tilberg


Europa: Topics of the European Union Provides summaries of what the EU does in a subject area, and useful links to relevant bodies, laws and documents.


Primer for U.S. Lawyers on European Union Government and Law by Charles H. Koch, Jr.


UPDATE: European Union: A Guide to Tracing Working Documents by Patrick Overy


UPDATE: European Union Legal Materials: An Infrequent User's Guide by Duncan E. Alford