ISSN 1831-5380
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Preamble

History

1952

Following the entry into force of the ECSC Treaty, an official journal is created for the publication of notices, decisions, etc.
The Official Journal is published for the first time on 30 December.
From 1952 to 19 April 1958 its title is equivalent to Official Journal of the European Coal and Steel Community, the official languages being Dutch, French, German and Italian.

1958

Following the entry into force of two additional treaties, the EEC Treaty and the Euratom Treaty, the title of the Official Journal is modified, becoming the Official Journal of the European Communities.
The new Official Journal is published for the first time on 20 April.

1968

The L (Legislation) and C (Information and Notices) series are created in January.
The first issue of the L series is published on 3 January.
The first issue of the C series is published on 12 January.

1978

The S series (Supplement to the Official Journal of the European Communities) is created for the publication of public procurement notices; it is first published on 7 January.
Calls for tender and European Development Fund notices were previously published in the L series (until the end of 1974) and in the C series (until the end of 1977) respectively.

1981

The CELEX database – an interinstitutional automated multilingual documentation system for Community law – becomes available to the public.
Distributed through the Commission, CELEX is available online and on magnetic tape.

1986

The S series becomes available in electronic form (tenders electronic daily (TED) database).

1987

The L and C series become available in microfiche form.

1991

The C … A series is created in January.

1992

In October the management of CELEX is transferred from the Commission to the Publications Office.

1997

The S series becomes available on CD-ROM.

1998

The L and C series become available on the EUR-Lex site on the internet.
As of 1 July, the S series is no longer published in a paper version but only in CD-ROM form and on the internet (TED database).

1999

As of 31 August the new C … E series is published in electronic form (E = electronic).

2001

The L and C series become available on CD-ROM.

2002

Access to EUR-Lex becomes free of charge from 1 January.

2003

As of 1 February the Official Journal is renamed Official Journal of the European Union (Treaty of Nice).

2004

As of 1 May the Official Journal is published in 20 languages due to enlargement. Under Council Regulation (EC) No 930/2004, an exception is made for the Maltese edition of the OJ: for 3 years (1.5.2004 to 30.4.2007) the institutions are only obliged to publish in Maltese the regulations adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council.
The colour strip on the spine of the cover of the OJ is removed as of 1 May and the language versions are identified by an ISO code on the cover.
As of 1 May the CELEX and EUR-Lex databases are loaded with all 20 languages.
The last paper edition of the Directory of Community Legislation in Force is published in July. Thereafter, the Directory is to be found in EUR-Lex.
As of 1 November the entries of the CELEX database are integrated into the EUR-Lex database and as of 31 December CELEX is no longer updated.

2007

As of 1 January the Official Journal is published in 23 languages following the accession of Bulgaria and Romania and the decision to publish secondary legislation in Irish. However, an exception similar to that concerning Maltese applies for the Irish edition: for 5 years (1.1.2007 to 31.12.2011, the institutions are only obliged to publish in Irish regulations adopted jointly by the European Parliament and the Council (Council Regulation (EC) No 920/2005).
On 1 January a new structure for the classification of acts published in the Official Journal is implemented.

2009

As of 1 December, the date the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, a temporary L V section is added to the OJ , entitled ‘Acts adopted from 1 December 2009 under the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Euratom Treaty’. This section was later removed on 31 December 2009.

2010

As of 1 January a new structure for the classification of the acts published in the OJ is introduced, reflecting the changes made by the Treaty of Lisbon.

2012

The exception for Irish that was established in 2007 is extended for a further 5 years by Council Regulation (EU) No 1257/2010 (from 1.1.2012 to 31.12.2016).

2013

As of 1 July, following the accession of Croatia, the Official Journal is published in 24 languages.

2014

Production of the C … E series ceases on 1 April.

2016

The L … I and C … I series are created on 1 January.
In March the ELI (European Legislation Identifier) is introduced on the EUR-Lex portal.

2017

The exception for Irish is again extended by Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) 2015/2264, but its scope must be gradually reduced, with a view to phasing it out by 31 December 2021.

Author services of the institutions, bodies, offices and agencies

The full list of institutions, bodies, offices and agencies can be found in Section 9.5.

European Parliament (Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg)

Texts are sent by various departments to the Official Journal.

European Council (Brussels)

Texts are sent by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

Council of the European Union (Brussels)

Texts are sent by the General Secretariat.

European Commission (Brussels, Luxembourg)

The Secretariat-General is responsible for sending Commission texts to be published in the Official Journal, namely, binding legal acts (L series), Commission proposals, information and notices (C series), and notices of calls for tender and European Development Fund notices (S series).

Court of Justice of the European Union (Luxembourg)

The registry of the Court of Justice is responsible for providing the texts.

European Central Bank (Frankfurt am Main)

Texts are sent by the Directorate-General Secretariat and Language Services or by the Directorate-General Legal Services.

European Court of Auditors (Luxembourg)

The ‘Communication and reports’ Unit is responsible for sending texts.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (Brussels)

Texts are sent by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union.

European Economic and Social Committee (Brussels)

Texts are sent by the registry.

European Committee of the Regions (Brussels)

Texts from the various units are sent by the registry.

European Investment Bank (Luxembourg)

Texts are provided by the various authors.

European Ombudsman (Strasbourg) and European Data Protection Supervisor (Brussels)

Texts are provided by the various authors.

Offices and agencies

For the list of offices and agencies, see Sections 9.5.3 to 9.5.6.

For a multilingual list of the institutions, bodies, interinstitutional services, offices and agencies, see Annex A9.

LegisWrite

LegisWrite is a computer tool for the creation, revision and exchange between the institutions of official documents, whether or not they are of a legal nature. It standardises the structure and presentation of texts.

More information on LegisWrite may be obtained on GoPro (Guide to procedures), which is accessible to the staff of the EU institutions and bodies: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/wikis/display/REGISTRY/Legiswrite (*).

Reference works

The main reference works for texts to be published in the Official Journal are:

(a)
for spelling problems and matters of a linguistic nature:
Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press),
Butcher’s Copy-editing – The Cambridge handbook for editors, copy-editors and proofreaders (Cambridge University Press),
New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors (Oxford University Press),
New Hart’s Rules (Oxford University Press),
English Style GuidePDF (European Commission, Directorate-General for Translation),
Fowler’s Modern English Usage (Oxford University Press);
(b)
for matters concerning legislative drafting:
Manual of precedents for acts established within the Council of the European Union (Council), 2015 edition,
(c)
for acronyms and abbreviations:
IATE (a terminology database system for the collection, dissemination and shared management of terminology between the institutions, agencies and other bodies of the European Union);
(d)
for checking the titles, contents, last amendments, etc. of acts:
EUR-Lex (provides direct and free access to European Union law. The OJ can be consulted, as well as the treaties, legislation, case-law and legislative proposals);
(e)
for proofreading Official Journal print proofs (layout rules, typographical instructions, etc.):

Moreover, certain editions of the Official Journal serve as standing references in areas such as agriculture, fisheries, trade agreements, the Combined Nomenclature, agreements with third countries, etc.

(*)
Internal link / working document for staff of the European institutions.
Last updated: 28.7.2020
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