The authentic e-Official Journal of the European Union – one year on

REICHERTS, Martine (2014) The authentic e-Official Journal of the European Union – one year on. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2014 - Lyon - Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge in Session 102 - Law Libraries with Government Information and Official Publications, Library and Research Services for Parliaments and Information Technology. In: IFLA WLIC 2014, 16-22 August 2014, Lyon, France.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


The authentic e-Official Journal of the European Union – one year on

The Publications Office of the European Union, as any official publisher, is confronted by the challenges of the digital revolution. As from 1 July 2013, the electronic edition of the Official Journal of the European Union is authentic and has legal effect, bringing to an end over 60 years of paper-based production. From a legal point of view, the shift took place thanks to Council Regulation (EU) No 216/2013. The regulation provides for the legal value of the electronic edition and sets out the technical standards required to assure citizens that the information they seek is true, accurate and complete. The regulation also provides for cases of exceptional disruption to electronic publication, laying down that the printed edition has legal value in such cases. From a technical point of view, the authentic e-Official Journal is the tip of the iceberg of a pervasive digital transformation programme put in place at the Publications Office of the European Union. This paper looks back to the conditions which led to the launch of the authentic e-Official Journal, and reviews its first year of implementation from 1 July 2013. Before that date, only the paper edition of the Official Journal was authentic and produced legal effects, even though the Publications Office had been carrying out digital publication of EU law on the EUR Lex website, as well as on CD-ROM/DVD, for many years. The paper also briefly looks at the challenges ahead at European Union level, namely the simplification of access to law, the growing importance of codification and consolidation and the publication of legislation as open data to enhance possibilities for transparency and reuse. Finally, the paper questions the survival of official periodicals (journals, gazettes) as distinct from the websites where they are currently published.

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