What is Overheid.nl and Government.nl?
Overheid.nl is the central access point to all information about government organisations of the Netherlands. Not all of this information is available in English, though.
The section 'Dutch government websites' provides a selection of interesting websites on subjects such as tourism, trade and culture. You will also find links to the English-language pages of the websites of Dutch government organisations, such as ministries, advisory boards and municipalities.
Since 2010 Dutch ministries communicate via a single website: www.rijksoverheid.nl, in English: www.government.nl
Dutch Parliament Documents are only in Dutch and accessible through the Dutch website of Overheid.nl or in the database Opmaat.
Searching Overheid.nl and Government.nl
Searching (Zoeken) the website Overheid.nl speaks for itself but it does not always operate flawlessly.
Directions to Overheid.nl and Government.nl
What is Europa.eu?
Europa.eu is the main portal to all EU documents.
The start page contains among other things a number of entries:
The entries "Actions by topic" and "Institutions and bodies" lead to information concerning the functioning of the European Union. They are a good starting point to quickly acquaint yourself with a topic.
There are several ways to search the Europa.eu.
1. Through the tabs mentioned above (systematic search).
2. Through Google within the Europa site. Include “site:europa.eu” in your search.
Directions to the Europa portal site
The website is publicly accessible at: europa.eu
What is EUR-Lex?
EUR-Lex is a freely accessible database containing legal documents of the EU. The system offers extensive search functions for consulting the Official Journal of the EU and mainly includes the Treaty texts, the legislation, the preparatory acts and the case law.
Through EUR-Lex you may also find, among other things, background information and summaries of legislation (About EU Law).
The Official Journal
The Official Journal of the European Union (abbreviated as OJ) is the leading publication of the EU containing the official text of legislation, information and notices. The Official Journal appears daily (Tuesday through Saturday) and may be consulted immediately through Eur-Lex.
The Official Journal consists of several sub-series. The L series contains Community legislation, the C series contains information and notices, the C E series (the electronic version of the C series) contains preparatory decisions in the legislative process. More sub-series are explained in the FAQ. From July 1, 2013, only the electronic edition of the OJ (e-OJ) is authentic and produces legal effects.
The text of the legislation which is available through EUR-Lex has been taken from the (printed) Official Journal and supplemented with bibliographical information.
Legislative proposals, Communications, Reports, White Papers and Green Papers are published by the European Commission as “COM documents”. In EUR-Lex, COM documents may be found under “preparatory acts”.
From 1 January 2012 (general Court Reports) and 1 January 2010 (Reports of Staff Cases) respectively, the Reports have been published exclusively in digital format on the EUR-Lex site (official publications accessible free of charge). Access to the Reports published on EUR-Lex is also available on Curia.
One advantage of consulting case law through EUR-Lex is that hyperlinks allow access to related documents and that the sources of annotations to the judgments are easily viewed. Case law becomes available through EUR-Lex almost immediately after the judgment has been delivered.
The general Court Reports and the Reports of Staff Cases were published in paper format until 2011 and 2009 respectively. For the period prior to those dates, the paper version of the Reports is the only official publication. A pdf version of the decisions published in the Reports is also available on EUR-Lex.
Always conduct your search using the most specific data which you have available, for instance, the document number or the Official Journal reference.
A few common options are:
Directly to EUR-Lex: eur-lex.europa.eu