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  1. 1. Simple search Chapter 1 – Before you begin quick start guide 1. SIMPLE SEARCH INTERFACE 2. EUR-LEX COVERAGE AND UPDATING 3. MULTILINGUAL FEATURES1. SIMPLE SEARCH INTERFACEEUR-Lex is the result of merging the EUR-Lex site with the CELEX database on European law. Thestructure and layout of the Simple Search section of EUR-Lex is very similar to that of CELEX. Certainterms, such as ‘CELEX number’ or ‘CELEX sector’ are thus still used in the new site.There are two search interfaces in EUR-Lex - Simple search and Advanced search. The interfaceyou choose to use will depend on your search and retrieval requirements, how familiar you are withEuropean legislation and the time you will spend learning to use the system.While the advanced search interface provides a fuller range of search and display features, the simplesearch interface can accommodate most users requirements. Even if you have little or no experiencewith EU legal databases you will find it easy to search, retrieve and display results without difficulty.2. EUR-Lex COVERAGE AND UPDATINGEUR-Lex holds six principal groups of documents or files – treaties, international agreements,legislation, case-law, preparatory acts and parliamentary questions. A file may comprise one or moresectors and several types of document.As a general rule documents loaded in EUR-Lex are published in the Official Journal of the EuropeanUnion and/or in the European Court Reports. The current trend is to extend coverage to documentsconsidered by the issuing institution to be public, regardless of their publication in the Official Journal.EUR-Lex contains some 400 000 documentary units in 20 official languages and is updated daily.Each document, accompanied with a limited number of analytical data can be loaded the very sameday of its publication in the Official Journal; the complete analytical data is loaded within threeworking days.Page 1/4 August 2006
  2. 2. Simple search Chapter 1 – Before you begin quick start guide2.1 Treaties (sector 1)The basic treaties of the Union, including the amending and accession treaties are available in EUR-Lex, where their articles, protocols, annexes and declarations are stored as separate documents;together, these constitute the legal framework of the European Communities.The following are therefore accessible: the Treaty on the European Union (Maastricht Treaty of 1992), the treaties establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (Paris Treaty of 1951), the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community (Rome Treaty of 1957); the accession treaties; the Treaty on Greenland; treaties amending the basic treaties: the Merger Treaty (1965), the budgetary treaties (1970, 1975), the Single European Act (1986), the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997); the Treaty of Nice (2001); consolidated versions of the Treaty establishing the European Community and the Treaty on European Union, following the entry into force of the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties.2.2 External relations (sector 2)EUR-Lex contains instruments generated by the European Union in the exercise of their internationalresponsibilities: agreements concluded by the European Union with non-member countries or with international organisations in their specific areas of responsibility; Association and partnership agreements, e.g. Agreement on the European Economic Area and the ACP Convention and the Europe Agreements; decisions of bodies created by these international agreements.2.3 Secondary legislation (sector 3)EUR-Lex provides access to instruments adopted by the European institutions pursuant to theprovisions of the basic treaties: regulations, directives, decisions and ECSC recommendations and decisions. Each directive is accompanied by a document containing references to national implementing measures. This document is accessible from the directive by clicking on a hyperlink; instruments adopted under the common foreign and security policy or cooperation on justice and home affairs; statutes and rules of procedure of the institutions and Community bodies; documents with no binding force: opinions, recommendations and resolutions.2.4 Supplementary legislation (sector 4)Supplementary legislation does not result from instruments adopted by Community institutionspursuant to the treaties but from agreements concluded between Member States. These satisfy theneed for common rules in areas closely associated with Union activities and are instruments ofinternational law in the traditional sense, generally falling outside the scope of specific Community lawproper.They comprise: decisions of the representatives of the Member States meeting within the Council; international conventions concluded between Member States, e.g. the Schengen agreement, agreements implementing cooperation on justice and home affairs.Page 2/4 August 2006
  3. 3. Simple search Chapter 1 – Before you begin quick start guide2.5 The preparatory acts file (Sector 5)Preparatory acts are usually understood to mean all the documents corresponding to the variousstages of the legislative or budgetary process, including documents in which the institutions expressan opinion on a question of general Community interest.They therefore include: Commission proposals (available since 1984; from1995 to 2002 full texts are found in the OJ C series) and Commission programmes, reports and communications; Legislative, budgetary and own-initiative resolutions of the European Parliament (available since 1974); Opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee (available since 1975 and with full text for opinions published in the C series of the OJ since 1995); Opinions and resolutions of the Committee of the Regions (all available in full text); Opinions and reports of the Court of Auditors (available since 1977); Council common positions (since 1985 and with full text for the positions published in the C series of the OJ since 1995) and various preparatory documents specific to the European Coal and Steel Community (Council assents, ECSC Consultative Committee opinions).2.6 The Case-law file (Sector 6)The Court of Justice is the judicial authority of the European Communities. It ensures theimplementation of the treaties and the interpretation and application of Community law. Since 1989, aCourt of First Instance is attached to the Court of Justice, which is not an institution in itself, butoperates under the responsibility of the latter. The Court of First Instance deals with all direct actionsagainst Community legal acts brought by natural or legal persons. The Court of Justice serves as acourt of appeal for its decisions.The Case-law file includes: Judgments, orders and third-party proceedings concerning cases brought before it by the institutions, the Member States, or any legal or natural person against the Community institutions and the European Central Bank, on disputes between institutions, and on cases against Member States, concerning a failure to implement an obligation under the Treaties; Preliminary rulings, interpreting Community law on the request of national courts and tribunals; Decisions in staff cases, concerning disputes between the Community and its servants; Opinions of the Advocate General; Opinions of the Court on agreements between the Community and non-member States or international organisations.2.7 National measures implementing directives (Sector 7)A directive is binding on Member States as regards the objective to be achieved but leaves to nationalauthorities the choice of form and methods used to attain the objective. EUR-Lex aims to reflect someaspects of this interaction between Community law and national law by providing publicationreferences to Member States national provisions enacting Community directives and ECSCrecommendations. The creation of a directive or ECSC recommendation in the database issystematically followed by the addition of the corresponding Sector 7 document. Each Member State isresponsible for supplying references to its own implementing legislation to the Commission.Page 3/4 August 2006
  4. 4. Simple search Chapter 1 – Before you begin quick start guide2.8 The parliamentary questions file (Sector 9)The questions addressed by the members of the European Parliament to the institutions are loaded inEUR-Lex once answered by the institution concerned. They may be: worded with a request for a written answer published in the Official Journal (written questions); raised during sessions and published in the Debates of the European Parliament (oral questions); raised during question time and published in the Debates of the European Parliament (questions raised at question time).2.9 The consolidated documents file (Sector 0)Sector 0, available in 2003, covers consolidated texts, i.e. non-official documents integrating basicinstruments of Community legislation with their amendments and corrections. Texts provided in thissector are intended for use as documentation tools only. They have no legal value. In view of the on-going nature of consolidation of legal instruments, there is no guarantee that a consolidated textincorporates the latest state of an act.2.10 The EFTA documents file (Sector E)Sector E, introduced in 2002, covers the full text of acts adopted by the EFTA institutions (SurveillanceAuthority, Standing Committee, Court) and published in the Official Journal within the framework ofthe Agreement on the European Economic Area of 1994 (Official Journal L 1, 3.1.1994). Coverageextends to all documents from 1994 onwards.2.11 The Official Journal C series documents file (Sector C)Sector C is a default sector for all documents that are published in the Official Journal C series that donot have a direct legal interest and, therefore, are not classified as a traditional CELEX document.These documents contribute to providing complete coverage of the Official Journal within theframework of the development of the EU law portal and the integration of CELEX, EUR-Lex andEUDOR. Texts are offered in TIF and PDF (from 1998 onwards) formats.3. MULTILINGUAL FEATURESThe content of EUR-Lex is available in 20 official languages of the European Union, namely Czech,Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian,Italian, Latvian,Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovene,Spanish and Swedish. You can changelanguages from almost every page of the website. To do so select the language of your choice fromthe language bar displayed on the right of the screen.Note that the language of the content of the database and the language of the search interface arenot independent and cannot be changed separately. You can however use terms in a languagedifferent from the language of the screen when searching by search terms or by author; documentswill be displayed in the language of the search interface.Page 4/4 August 2006