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European Union Law: Institutions and Sources

This guide provides an overview of the structure and lawmaking activities of the EU Institutions as well as resources for EU research.

Citing Preparatory Acts

See Bluebook Rule 21.9(iv)

COM documents are proposed legislation and other Commission communications to other European institutions and the Commission's preparatory papers.  SEC documents are internal documetns conerning the operations of Commission documents.

Example: 

Proposal for a European Parliament and Council Directive amending Council Directive 91/308/EEC of 10 June 1991 on Prevention of the Use of the Financial System for the Purpose of Money Laundering, at 3, COM (1999) 352 final (July 14, 1999), 2000 O.J. (C 177) 42.

"at 3" represents the pinpoint cite

"352" is the document number

Although the Bluebook doesn't require a parallel citation to the Official Journal, it is useful for research purposes to remember that all preparatory acts are published in the Official Journal "C" Series and a citation to the OJ is quick and convenient way retrieve the document on EUR-LEX, Westlaw or Lexis.  See "Citing to the OJ" under the Official Journal sub-tab under the EUR-LEX tab.

Preparatory Acts

‘Preparatory documents’ means all documents corresponding to the various stages of the legislative or budgetary process. They include Commission legislative proposals (COM and SEC documents), Council common positions, legislative and budgetary resolutions and initiatives of the European Parliament, and opinions of the European Economic and Social Committee and of the Committee of the Regions.

Access Preparatory Acts on EUR-LEX

  Parliamentary Questions

The European Parliament has the right to pose questions to the Commission and Councilin writing and during question periods during parliamentary sessions.  The questions andanswers are published in the OJ C Series.

Access Parliamentary Questions on EUR-LEX