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MDR > European Legislation Identifier (ELI)

Given the disparities between legal data at regional, national and European Union levels, it is necessary to ensure that citizens have easy and efficient access to information on national and European legislation. For this reason the Council invites all Member States and the Publications Office of the European Union to introduce the European Legislation Identifier (ELI) on a voluntary basis.

ELI enables simple and fast access to this information by providing a unique identifier which is recognizable, readable and understandable by both humans and computers, or to say it in the words of the Council conclusions inviting the introduction of the European Legislation Identifier (ELI):

"The process of cooperation within the European Union has increased the need to identify and exchange legal information originating from regional and national authorities at the European level. [...] However, the exchange of legal information is greatly limited by the differences that exist in the various national legal systems, as well as the differences in their technical systems used to store and display legislation through their respective websites. [...] The use of ELI could help overcoming these problems.

ELI takes into account not only the complexity and specificity of regional, national and European legislative systems, but also changes in legal resources (e.g. consolidations, repealed acts etc.). It is designed to work seamlessly on top of existing systems using structured data and can be taken forward by Member States at their own pace."

The European Legislation Identifier rests on three pillars:

  1. Identification of legislation: URI templates at the European, national and regional levels based on a defined set of components
  2. Properties describing each legislative act: Definition of a set of metadata and its expression in a formal ontology
  3. Serialisation of ELI metadata elements: Integration of metadata into the legislative websites using RDFa

ELI ontology (latest version)

Specific versions


The ontology behind the European Legislation Identifier as well as the URI templates defined at the European level are documented here.

Guides on ELI

Below you can find the links to two ELI guides available on EU Bookshop:

ELI Register

The ELI Register provides general and technical information about ELI as well as about the implementation status of ELI by various stakeholders: