Definitive source for EU law soon to be online only
Currently only the paper edition of the EU Gazette has legal effect. Effective 1 July 2013, only the online version will be legally binding. This binding change was published on 14 March 2013 in the paper edition. As Council Directive No. 216/2013, the Official Gazette of the European Union announced its own paper-based end. Instead the electronic version on the EUR-Lex website will become binding this summer. It is available under http://eur-lex.europa.eu. Access to EUR-Lex is free of charge and no registration is required. The Publications Office of the European Unit is responsible for administration.
Users of the portal have direct online access to public, official legal documents published by EU bodies and institutions, as well as law and jurisprudence references of the EU member states. The documents, including tenders along with legal regulations, announcements and bulletins, are translated into the 22 or 23 languages of the member states. Documents are available in pdf, tif and/or html format.
Even though it has yet to replace the paper edition as the legally binding source, EUR-Lex is already getting seven million hits a month. Commission Vice President and EU Commissioner of Justice Viviane Reding explains this development: "Making the online edition of the official EU law gazette legally binding will benefit the 500 million Europeans directly, since they will have access to the EU legal regulations with a click of the mouse."