Information and publications
Legal doctrine
0 On DEsite
1 General
2 Pillar structure
3 Bodies
4 Decision-making
5 Lobby groups
6 Case histories
7 Information and publications
  • Legislation
  • Case law
  • Legal doctrine
  • Citation standards
  • On legal doctrine

    Legislation and case law are the primary sources of information concerning decision-making within the European Union. Legal doctrine is the secondary source of information. For legal doctrine, you need to think of books on European law or some of its specific subjects, articles in journals, discussions of (impending) EU law, and annotations accompanying judgements. The increasing influence of European legislation on national law has led to an increasing number of publications on issues of European law. Books and journals in this field can generally be found in libraries with legal collections. However, due to the large number of publications appearing, you will certainly not be able to find everything in one library. Electronic databases or the Internet are therefore indispensable aids in the search for literature. Below, we will describe how to search for literature on European law; then, we will present a survey of the most important publications in the field of European law.

    General databases

    Libraries offer their users general and/or specific databases for literature searches. The number of information databases differs for each library, and databases will not always be freely accessible to third parties. Here, we discuss some databases offered by the Tilburg University library to its users through its web pages.

    The Catalogue of Tilburg University contains the library´s collection of books and journals, which can be searched by means of titles or keywords. It is a freely accessible database in contrast to Online Contents Tilburg University or Online Contents Chapters, which can only be consulted by Tilburg University students or staff. Online Contents Tilburg University contain descriptions of journal articles, often supplemented with summaries and/or full texts. Online Contents Chapters contain bibliographic data of chapters from selected collective works. The databases can be found via the web page with library databases. Through the tips in these databases, you can consult manuals to get to know more about the use of the databases. Electronic courses on searching these databases and on literature searches in general are also offered.

    Specific databases

    Besides these general databases, there are some specific databases that are very useful for finding literature on European law. In using all these databases, it is important to be aware that, if you find literature, it may not always be present in the library´s collection and occasionally not even in the Netherlands. The databases can be found via the list of databases of Tilburg University´s European Documentation Centre.

    ECLAS is the catalogue of the central library of the Commission of the European Union. This includes descriptions of books, reports, documents, and articles, and full texts can sometimes be retrieved via hyperlinks. Especially for searching for so-called grey literature (reports, etc.), it is a very useful database.

    To find Dutch-language legal literature in the field of European law, the Data Juridica (DJ) database on the Plaza Kluwer Juridisch en Fiscaal is a good starting-point. It contains bibliographical data and summaries of journal articles and books, but also of separate contributions to anthologies. Data Juridica is a commercial product that are not freely accessible.

    The Internet

    In addition, the Internet offers many more sources with publications or references. Search engines often yield good or even surprising results. Formulating the right search question or the quantity of hits, however, can sometimes be frustrating.

    A better way to find relevant literature on the Internet is to consult home pages. Universities and libraries, in particular, put together pages on which interesting links have been assembled. In cooperation with other European Documentation Centres (EDCs) the EDC of Tilburg University, for example, maintains a web page with Internet resources that have been arranged by subject. The subjects ´information and starting points´ and ´publications´, for instance, presents a collection of references to libraries, electronic journals, and reference books. Via this page you can find other relevant sites, such as the collection of the library of the European University Institute.


    Although the number of electronic publications is growing, the bulk of the literature on European law is still published on paper. It is pointless to present an inclusive survey of all the books and journals on this subject. Below, we specify where surveys of general books and journals on the subject of European law can be found. We also mention some reference books.

    • The Dutch journal De Juridische Bibliothecaris (The Legal Librarian) annually publishes a survey of books in Dutch, German, English, and French.
    • The journals Common Market Law Review and Europarecht (European Law) regularly publish literature surveys.
    • Once a year, the library of the Court of Justice publishes a very extensive bibliography entitled Legal Bibliography of the European Integration.

    Journals specifically focusing on European law are predominantly published in English, French, and German. A fairly complete survey of these can be found via European Integration Current Contents. This page contains not only titles of journals but also the contents of issues. In the Dutch-speaking regions, there are only two journals that specifically focus on European law. These are the Nederlands tijdschrift voor Europees recht (Dutch journal for European law) and Sociaal-economische wetgeving (SEW, Socio-economic Legislation). Naturally, Dutch-language articles are also published in other legal journals. For these, please consult the Online Contents database.

    There are various reference books for looking up terms or addresses. IDEA, the electronic yearbook of the European Institutions, contains the names, addresses, and phone numbers of people employed at the institutions.
    Every year, the Directory of EU Information Sources is published on paper. This is a very extensive guide, containing a directory not only of the institutions, but also of lobby groups, lawyers specialised in European law, foreign representations in Brussels, and press agencies.
    Euro-Guide: Yearbook of the Institutions of the European Union combines a directory with descriptions of European institutions and bodies. For terminology, you can use the Encyclopedia of the European Union, the ABC of the European Union (in Dutch only), or the Glossary: Institutions, policy, and enlargement of the European Union.

    In looking for information, you can certainly not always get by with search terms in one language. To translate legal terms, there are specialised legal translation dictionaries, which can be found in legal libraries. For the translation of specific European terminology, two translation systems can be consulted on the Internet: EURODICAUTOM and Terminological Information System (TIS).