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European Commission

Press release

Luxembourg, 28 September 2012

Major progress towards transparency: a new European Legislation Identifier

On 24 September the Council adopted the conclusions of the Working Party on e-Law, presided by the Luxembourg government, on the optional introduction of the so-called European Legislation Identifier (ELI). ELI provides, among others, a solution to uniquely identify and access national and European legislation online. This will guarantee easier access, exchange and reuse of legislation for public authorities, professional users, academics and citizens. ELI paves the way for a semantic web of legal gazettes and official journals.

Legal information is today widely available and accessible in electronic form. However, the way in which information is organised and classified varies in the different legal systems, a fact that tends to restrict access and reuse possibilities. By deploying this new unique identifier and structured metadata to reference legislation published in the official journals and legal gazettes of different legal systems, this barrier will be overcome.

The role of the Publications Office:

Fully conscious of the benefits which will result from the introduction of this new identifier and on the basis of its experience in providing state-of-the-art access to legal information, the Publications Office plans to:

  • integrate ELI as part of the EUR-Lex portal;

  • host and maintain the register of formal descriptions of Member States’ URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) schemes;

  • host and maintain the referenced authority tables.

For more information

Publications Office of the European Union

Access to European Union Law


Luca Martinelli (+352 2929 42 768)

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