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European Union Legal Materials

Electronic Databases

Databases are excellent resources for accessing EU materials. There are a variety of database options, each of which has its advantages. As an example, while Europa, the official EU database, has access to current materials, commercial databases like Westlaw provide access to both current and older materials. The commercial databases also have more sophisticated search mechanisms. The scope of coverage and ease of use of the commercial databases can also be a factor in choosing the one to use. It is advisable to start with the interface with which one is most comfortable and then try the others.

This section is designed to serve as a general introduction to the databases. Specific access information for individual types of materials will be discussed in subsequent section.

Note: Database content in each of these products can change and the individual databases may or may not be comprehensive. As a general rule, the official sources available through Europa provide the most current information, more current than any of the commercial databases. It is important to check the descriptions of the content of the individual databases. In Westlaw Edge and Lexis+, there are informational icons listed after the database name.