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Keeping track of EU law developments online

I was posed what sounded like a simple enough question by an old friend in Brussels at the end of last week:

I was wondering [...] whether you knew of a good English-language newsletter, or feed, or whatever, summing up legislative developments at EU level. The Law Societies do send one but it’s only monthly and I need more frequent updates (weekly would be best).

Not knowing the precise answer, but as ever intrigued, I set to work… Here is the best set of answers I can come up with, with the input of many others…

(1) Newsletters 
Consensus that this is nothing free that’s better than the Law Society one. In German there are newsletters from Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer (BRAK) and Deutscher Anwaltverein (DAV). For a paid service a number of people suggested Tomson Reuters Lawtel.

(2) Blogs 
Keep an eye on ECJblogGrahn LawEU Law and Vihar Georgiev. There’s also the EU Law tag on Head of Legal. Best way to keep on top of many blogs is to use a RSS reader – see this guide about how to do it.

(3) Twitter
There’s a lively EU law discussion on Twitter – follow @carlgardner, @vihargg, @ronpatz, @ralfgrahn@axelhorns, @allardknook and @auremah. As ever Twitter is best used with a client like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, rather than from twitter.com. Might a paper.li weekly edition of an EU Law newspaper make some sense too? Comment below if so and I’ll pull one together.

(4) Official sources
EUR-Lex, OEIL and the ECJ do not offer RSS feeds – this is a severe downside. Especially annoying as EUR-Lex used to have RSS. So – for now – there’s no way to follow things here other than to visit the sites. The way forward may be to use some combination of Yahoo! Pipes and FeedYes to hack together some feeds. The EU Law API from Buhl & Rasmussen could also be handy, but would require more coding work.

Thanks to Carl Gardner, Vihar Georgiev, Ron Patz, Ralf Grahn for their contributions to this piece!

Photo: Cédric Puisney “European Court of Justice – Luxembourg” November 18, 2006 via Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution

16 Comments

  • Bruno |

    Thanks for an insightful list of links.

    However, the Parliament’s Legislative Observatory does have a useful, highly customisable ‘tracker’ to receive alerts about new procedures tabled, new documents/proposals published by the Commission, what’s been tabled between two plenary sessions, etc.

    Check out the (free) registration page: https://www.secure.europarl.europa.eu/oeil/secured/TrackerRegister.do?action=displaypage&language=en

    But RSS still not, unfortunately…

  • B |

    Actually, the least user-friendly part of the institutions’ websites has to be the comitology register. Even the searches you perform can’t be bookmarked, so every search must be done from scratch every time. :(

  • Brusselsblogger |

    @B

    The Lexalert system is amazingly: you need to send an email to a helpdesk in order to subscribe by RSS!?

    Thought RSS as such is already complicated for many people :-)

  • Michel Ehrlich |

    Great blog post – I would like to add a paid monitoring service that isn’t mentioned in the post: EU Issue Tracker, which many consider to be the best EU legislative monitoring service available at any price.

  • David Schoibl |

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  • Alberto Alemanno |

    God job Jon !

    I would like to draw your attention to the main source of information, in the form of a newsletter, existing since the 60s about EU Affairs: AGENCE EUROPE: http://www.agenceurope.com/

    That’s what EU officials, EU judges, policymakers and people in EU Affairs read every morning. That’s what I do since 1999.

    I like your blogging style and themes covered.

    Alberto

  • Trooper Thompson |

    “The Law Societies do send one but it’s only monthly and I need more frequent updates”

    This clearly indicates the horrifying volume of regulations being churned out by Brussels.

  • Jon |

    @Bruno – thanks, yes, had forgotten to mention that.

    @Carl – for that I will need a more comprehensive list of EU law people on Twitter. Do you know more? It’s a bit off my regular work.

    @B / Brusselsblogger – yes, rather odd to have to request a RSS feed! But better that than nothing I suppose.

    @B / André / Michel – thanks for the tip.

    @Alberto – I didn’t include Agence Europe because of the cost of it… It’s way too expensive for me.

  • Alberto Alemanno |

    Thanks Jon – also for me agence europe is too expensive. Yet you can get access to yet through the EU institutions’ libraries.

    You may want to have a look at my blog where I comment on most EU policies having an impact on health, safety and the environment (what I call risk regulation)

    best wishes and good job!
    AA

  • Jon |

    @Alberto – Unfortunately working as a freelancer in east London I am some distance from an EU institutional library!

    I’ve added your blog to my RSS reader.

  • Martin Beck |

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