European Union Website Gets Major Makeover

Europa – the European Union’s official website – has just had a makeover.

The major idea was to separate laws and other technical material from more general information.

As well, the layout has been simplified and the site has been divided into 6 main themes:

  • About the EU (history, structure, institutions)
  • Policies and Activities (policy areas, grants, tenders)
  • Your Life in the EU (work, study, consumer rights, health, rights of residence)
  • Take Part! (online debates, blogs, YouTube videos)
  • Documentation Centre
  • Media Centre

A navigation menu reflecting those 6 themes appears on all pages to make it easier to move around the site’s more than 6 million pages of information, information available in all 20 (twenty) official languages of the EU, from Bulgarian to Swedish.

For some additional background information about the EU and its institutions, here are a few sites:

  • In May 2007, published European Union Law: An Integrated Guide to Electronic and Print Research by Marylin Johnson Raisch, the Librarian for International and Foreign Law at the John Wolff International and Comparative Law Library of the Georgetown Law Center.
  • The March 22, 2007 issue of the UK-based information industry newsletter FreePint has an article by London librarian Adrian Janes on Finding Facts: The European Union after 50 Years: “The European Union (EU) marks its 50th anniversary in March 2007. In this time it has grown from six to 27 Member States, gradually expanded the range of its activities and become a highly complex organisation. This article attempts to sketch some of the background to the EU’s development, point out the functions of some of the key institutions and above all indicate useful sources of information”.
  • From October 2008, there is European Union Legal Materials: An Infrequent User’s Guide (updated) on the GlobaLex website (New York University School of Law). The guide is broken down into a brief overview of the European Union, its official websites and the role and functions of its principal institutions, a reading list of recommended introductions to EU law, dictionaries and directories, a list of founding treaties and accession treaties, sources of EU legislation, case law, journals as well as research guides.
  • The CURIA website (Court of Justice of the European Communities) has a library and documentation section with links to bibliographies, a database of member state caselaw relating to European Union legislation, the Reflets current awareness bulletin, and an overview of court systems of each of the 27 members of the Union (in French).

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