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30.12.2012 - Summaries of EU legislation

The “Summaries of EU legislation” website presents the main aspects of European Union (EU) legislation in a concise, easy-to-read and unbiased manner. It forms part of the Europa portal, which is published by the EU institutions.

The website is a specialised information source together with EUR-Lex, PreLex and Europe Direct. Whereas EUR-Lex provides the full texts of all EU law documents, PreLex follows all legislative proposals during the decision-making process of the EU institutions and Europe Direct responds to citizens’ enquiries regarding the EU. This website complements the above by offering user-friendly summaries of sometimes rather long and technical EU legislation.

Summaries of legislation

This website provides approximately 3 000 summaries of EU legislation. They are offered in the form of factsheets disseminated under 32 thematic areas corresponding to the activities of the EU. The themes range from agriculture to transport, presenting comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of EU legislation. What is not covered, however, are legal decisions having only temporary interest, such as decisions on grants.

Currently, the website is offered in 11 languages (the official languages of the EU before 1 May 2004), with more specialised information offered in five (German, Spanish, French, Italian and English). Further information about the language policy of Europa may be found here.

The factsheets

The factsheets aim at presenting EU legislation in a quick and easy-to-read manner. Each factsheet summarises one specific piece of legislation in force, such as a directive, regulation or decision. Summaries of preparatory and other acts, communications, etc. are also supplied. Naturally, a link to the official and full-length version of the legislation on the EUR-Lex or PreLex site is always provided. Factsheets are also updated regularly to take account of newer legislative developments, i.e. any amendments to the law or adoptions of related acts are included in the summary.

A team of legal writers monitor the legislative developments and compose factsheets following a standardised template. In order to guarantee the accuracy of the factsheets, they are validated by the relevant Commission departments.

The summaries of EU legislation are published for information only. They have no legal value.

Tools

For easy navigation of the website, several tools are offered, such as an interactive menu, a search function, an index and a glossary. Furthermore, links to other relevant and related sites are offered. Please see the tutorial for further information on how to use this website.

Source: http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/about/index_en.htm

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