News from the Meeting of
U.S. European Union Depository Librarians,
Pittsburgh, June 4-5, 1999
Jeanne Rehberg, New York University Law Library
Heidi Heller, University of Pennsylvania Biddle Law Library
Jeanette Yackle, Harvard Law Library
Research Update by Barbara Sloan (Head of Public Inquiries, Office of Press and Public Affairs, Delegation of the European Commission, Washington, D.C.)
General observation by Ms. Sloan and others attending: We are seeing
fewer ready reference questions and less traffic generally. Are researchers
settling for quick online research (“a bluffer’s paradise”)? On the other
hand, Ms. Sloan sees no decline in regulatory and technical
If you have trouble finding the right page in EUROPA (http://europa.eu.int),
start with the Delegation website (http://www.eurunion.org) and follow
the links from their alphabetical
subject index of links (under “EU Web Sites”).
I*M EUROPE (http://www2.echo.lu) has the best copyright information.
ISPO (http://www.ispo.cec.be) has the best telecommunications information.
In EUROPA, the “Information” button has the links to the main databases (EUR-Lex, CELEX, etc.). “Institutions” will take you to the various home pages; look for the links at the bottom of the descriptive paragraphs. The Commission has its own home page within EUROPA, with links to the homepages of the Directorates-General (http://europa.eu.int/comm/dgs_en.htm). The DG page is often the best place to start if you know which DG is responsible for the sector you are researching.
RAPID, the database of press releases (http://europa.eu.int/rapid/start/welcome.htm), is also one of the best places to start. For some activities, such as Commission antitrust decisions, the only documents available are the press releases. Hint: Leave the date blank in your search and use only title or text if you have no idea of the date. If you do use a date search, remember that the date default is the last few days, so you should expand the date by a month on each end. Each document has two dates—creation date and load date. Often the system is searching the load date, which differs with each language. When downloading from RAPID, if you select all documents that you want, they will be downloaded as a single document. Instead, select and download each one separately.
IDEA (http://europa.eu.int/idea/ideaen.html), which is updated monthly, is the directory of people in the institutions, but it lists only heads of units and above. You should use EUROPARL instead for Parliament members.
EUR-Lex (http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/index.html) is a consolidated source for legislative information, but for very current documents only. The OJ remains there from day of publication through 45 calendar days. The EUR-Lex search engine is not very refined; for word in text, use CELEX (http://europa.eu.int/celex/celex-en.html) instead. The texts that you retrieve in EUR-Lex through “Consolidated Legislation” (the online version of the Directory of Community Legislation in Force) are the same as the CELEX texts, but here they are HTML and may be hard to read and may lack technical annexes.
For COM Documents, EUR-Lex is easier to search than the other databases,
but the COM Documents remain in EUR-Lex only until the legislation is adopted.
They are extracted from CELEX and are usually loaded about two weeks from
the date the COM is being discussed. In
2000, they will be loaded the same day.
Ref 2000 is a Commission initiative for total automation of its legislative documents in pdf.
CELEX Plus will allow a version of Mistral searching. The EUR-Lex pdf files that disappear after 45 days will go into CELEX.
EUDOR’s imaged texts (http://www.eudor.com) make it the closest to an online official version. They are backloading the OJ, COMs, Parliamentary Reports, and statistical publications. Even if you do not want to buy documents through EUDOR, it is useful as an index, but only the title can be searched. Remember to use EU terminology (e.g., “credit institutions,” not “banking”). Search CELEX for references to Consolidated Legislation texts (“Consleg”), then find the tiff texts in EUDOR, where they have to be unzipped and printed with appropriate software.
ECLAS (http://europa.eu.int/eclas/) contains the catalogs of the Central Library of the Commission and the DGs. It contains titles that may not go into the publication stream of EUR-OP. ECLAS also references internal and external web and ftp sites.
SCADPlus (http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/scad_en.htm) is updated every week. It lists Commission documents, periodical literature, and national implementing legislation. It also provides legislative summaries by topic for existing legislation and some pending legislation. It also has a glossary of Eurojargon.
EUROPARL (http://www.europarl.eu.int). The Legislative Observatory tracks
legislation across all the institutions. Click on Legislative Dossiers
and search by the COD, SYN, etc., number,
document reference, and keyword. The links to the minutes look as if they will not give you the text—you should switch to French and then you can select English again and get the text. APC, the other legislative tracking service, is switching to the web; it will co-exist with the Legislative Observatory. The Plenary Sessions link on EUROPARL is the best place to look for Parliament documents.
CORDIS (http://www.cordis.lu/) is the DGXII service for research and development, tenders, and funding opportunities. You can search for bibliographic information on the EUR reports by title and report number. CORDIS also has an acronyms database.
Commission (Neville Keery, Head of Library Services)
The Commission Library is committed to putting records in MARC format. The internet pages of EUROLIB members are accessible through http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg10/libraries. The EUROLIB group includes the Council of Europe and the College of Europe.
Mr. Keery is planning to draft a vade mecum for depositories to provide practical guidelines on retention, discarding, photocopying, and use of online passwords.
Parliament (Jacques Raybaut, Head, Publishing Division, and Rodney
Martin, Publishing Division, Secretariat of the European Parliament)
The A5 term began on May 1, 1999, with elections held on June 10, 11 and 13. New Rules of Procedure were adopted March 11, 1999, effective May 1, 1999. New committees (now 17 total): Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy; Budgets; Budgetary Control; Citizens’ Freedoms and Rights, Justice and Home Affairs; Economic and Monetary Affairs; Legal Affairs and the Internal Market, Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy; Employment and Social Affairs; Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy; Agriculture and Rural Development; Fisheries; Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism; Culture, Youth, Education, the Media and Sport; Development and Cooperation; Constitutional Affairs; Women’s Rights and Equal Opportunities; Petitions. Committees will each have a separate home page; new elements will include meeting documents (Sept. 1999), work in progress (late 1999); opinions adopted (under construction).
The basic provisions covering transparency and openness are Art. 1 of the EU Treaty, Art. 255 of the EC Treaty, and the Rules 171-173 of the new EP Rules of Procedure.
EUROPARL (http://www.europarl.eu.int): New databases and interfaces will include voting records from July 1999 (at first, just a list of votes), email and web pages for MPs, Committee pages, delegation pages; search A4/A5 reports by words in text; search verbatim reports and debates by speaker and word in title of debate (under construction). Plans include an email service to notify users of new information on EUROPARL. The numbering system for Parliament documents is under review with a goal of clearer, more coherent references. Since 1999, legislation is numbered with four digits for the year instead of two. Parliament will be introducing a Public Register of its legislative documents for better tracking. Previously confidential documents now will be in the public domain on the Internet.
These speakers “guaranteed” that an archive of older information will remain on EUROPARL. The “Ten Commitments” of the Parliament’s Publishing Division are: (1) Keep in mind the end user’s target: the document and its source, status, type, family, and citation. (2) One document with one citation (not multiple), but supported in as many formats, and on as many platforms, as necessary. (3) Many access methods and single repositories. 4) Support stable repositories. (5) Common, user-friendly ports with personalization possible through search options. (6) Link together all the documents that relate to a piece of legislation. (7) Make documents available to the public as soon as possible. (8) Openness of the repositories to the other institutions and services. (9) Document the activities of all three pillars. (10) Nothing is possible alone—work through co-publishing, EUR-OP, libraries, etc.
Council of the EU (Lutz Goebel, Former Head of Library and Documentation, Council of the EU, now Principal Administrator, Directorate-General for Energy)
It is a possibility that the Common Positions may no longer be published
in the OJ. Resolutions always appear in the Press Releases, even
if not in the OJ. On January 1, 1999, the Council introduced a Public Register
of Council Documents (http://register.consilium.eu.int/defaultEN.htm),
which can be searched by document number, title, subject, document date,
date of meeting, archive date, and language. No documents from before January
1, 1999, are listed. The Register site also provides information about
making a document request. The Council uses its own controlled vocabulary
to index its documents. All documents are now marked “limited,” not “restricted,”
but there are no confidential or secret documents in the Public Register.
The Public Register will later contain full texts. Documents and information
related to the Common Foreign and Security Policy and Justice and Home
Affairs are located on the Council site (http://ue.eu.int/). Voting records
have been included in the Review of the Council’s Work since 1995, but
the Review is not published very often. Minutes and negative votes
and statements (only with Member State consent) are available in EUDOR
and also in the Council Press Releases, which are on the Council site,
then archived in RAPID.
Office for Official Publications (EUR-OP) (Luis Moitinho, Deputy Head of Unit, Sales and Copyright, which includes the free distribution for depositories)
Mr. Moitinho was at one time production manager in charge of the CELEX
database, among other paper and electronic publication systems. He clearly
has an understanding of the special requirements that legal researchers
have for authentic, imaged texts and for a trustworthy
archive of documents. There is still no official EU archival policy. It is possible that litigation and an ECJ ruling in the next few years may give legal status to electronic publications. For now, only the paper OJ is binding.
The EUR-OP has announced that it will no longer produce the OJ L&C Series in microfiche as of the end of 1999. Free distribution of microfiche will end. Instead, depositories may request to receive the monthly CD-ROM of the OJ in PDF free of charge.
As of January 1, 2000, Academic Microforms, Inc., of New York, will
publish the OJ L&C microfiche in most, if not all, languages. Norman
Ross Publishing will be the worldwide distributor. The annual cost is expected
to be 1000 Euros. The publisher will offer a special price of 750 Euros
to all current free-of-charge subscribers to the microfiche, who will be
receiving a letter from EUR-OP with details. Other libraries may contact
Norman Ross Publishing at 330 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10019, 212-765-8200,
FAX: 212-765-2393, on the web at www.nross.com.
EUR-OP has also received instructions to stop the distribution of free subscriptions of the OJ in paper. As this article went to press, there was word that the Management Committee might revisit this decision during its October meeting, but as of now the CD-ROM is expected to be the only free OJ product. EUR-OP is working on improvements to the technical specs of the CD-ROM.
COM Documents will no longer be published in the OJ/C series, probably as of July 1, 1999. The replacement format is still under discussion. A new OJ CE (electronic) series is planned. The separate series of COM Documents in paper and fiche is not scheduled to end.
A new Internet portal for legal documents is planned, i.e., a common access point for the databases that contain legal documents. As of sometime around November, 1999, the use of Mistral in CELEX will end as CELEX moves to a new platform.
Depository access to EUROBASES is still free. Document delivery from EUDOR is available to depositories at a 50% discount, plus transmission costs (or free transmission by FTP or email). Other databases will be free when migrated to the web (APC, the legislative tracking service; EPOQUE; OIL; and SESAME are going to the web). Contact for EUROBASES questions is Ana-Luisa Muller (fax 352 2929 42763, or email email@example.com).
For depository claims, there is now an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org). No matter which method you choose for claims, you still must include your name, depository registration number, and the catalogue number of the item you are claiming. And do not claim anything that is not listed on the Resume!
The file of preparatory acts is being launched in EUR-Lex.
Retrospective scanning of the OJ and court decisions to EUDOR is proceeding.
TED: US/Japanese tenders will be stopped on July 1, 1999. A new online interface was launched on April 1, 1999. A new CD-ROM interface, similar to the previous, was launched on June 1, 1999.
to the next article, "ASIL Electronic Resources Guide"
BACK to the Table of Contents