European Documentation Centre


European Documentation Centres (EDCs) make up a network of information centres established by the European Union in 1963 to support study, teaching and research at university level. In the United Kingdom, EDCs were established in the 1970’s, following the UK’s membership of the European Community. They are sited in universities to provide easy access to European Union documentation for academic staff and students and they are supported in this by the European Commission. There are over 40 EDCs in the United Kingdom, with two in Wales – here at Aberystwyth and at Cardiff University.
EDCs can help you to find information on the following subjects:

  • European law
  • European policies and institutions
  • European integration

The importance of the EDC was highlighted at the 2011 Europe Day celebrations at Aberystwyth University on the 12th of May, organised by the . Find out how Information Services took part.

How does Aberystwyth University use the European Documentation Centre?

“I use the European Documentation Centre (EDC) at Aberystwyth University for  EU legislation and proposals and COM documents ... I use the EDC especially to see the more general public-oriented publications with maps and graphs which can be a good introduction for students”.
Ann Sherlock, Senior Lecturer, Department of Law and Criminology

"The European Documentation Centre and its sources, which date back to the inception of the EU, provided an invaluable source for the completion of an important chapter of my thesis. It also increased my confidence in my ability to conduct primary research, given that when I wrote the chapter (2008) I was at the early stages of my PhD. Without the opportunities offered by the Centre’s collections, it would not have been possible to write the chapter".
Athina Gkouti, PhD student, Department of International Politics

“I have used the European Documentation Centre quite a bit in the past to find (sometimes relatively obscure) documents about health and safety and also some statistics".
Diane Rowland, Professor, Department of Law and Criminology

Location and Access

The European Documentation Centre at Aberystwyth can be found in the Thomas Parry Library. It can be used by both staff and students of AU and anyone requiring information on the European Union.

All materials in the EDC are added to the library catalogue Primo and have the prefix EDC followed by the classmark KW. They are available for reference purposes only during normal opening hours for the Thomas Parry Library.


The EDC at Aberystwyth was established later than most – in 1996, but it is based on the European Reference Centre which had been in existence since the 1970s. Many of the core holdings go back to the mid-1970s and earlier, but since 1996 the EDC has been receiving most of the official publications produced by the main European Union institutions, such as the European Commission. These include legislative texts, reports and statistics on a whole range of topics relating to the European Union and European integration.

Official documents available in the EDC include:

  • Official Journal of the European Communities
  • Legislation (L-series). Contains the full text of regulations, directives and decisions. Issued daily.
  • Information Notices (C-series). Contains Information and Notices such as the Opinions of the Economic and Social Committee, proposals for legislation and Commission information. Issued daily.
  • Supplement to the Official Journal (S-series). Contains details of all public supply and work contracts for tender in the European Community.
  • Working Documents of the Commission (COM Documents)
    Contain the text of proposals for legislation and useful background information.
  • Debates and reports of the European Parliament
  • General report and bulletin of the European Union
  • Eurostat The Statistical Office of the European Communities produces a wide variety of statistical data on the European Union, covering topics such as economy and finance, population and social conditions, external trade, the environment and research and development.

The EDC also receives a large number of monographs and reports published by the various Directorates-General on a wide range of topics, including economic and monetary policy, agriculture, industry, energy policy, regional policy, the environment, social policy and education and training.

More and more European information is now available electronically, much of it freely available on the Internet, such as:

  • European Sources Online
    This provides information on the institutions and activities of the European Union, the countries, regions and other international organisations of Europe, and on the issues of importance to European citizens and stakeholders.
  • Europa
    This is the official European Union server. It is a vital resource for anyone studying European Union affairs. It includes the full text of a large number of official EU documents, daily news briefings, links to the home pages of all the EU institutions and much more.
  • EUR-Lex
    This provides free public access to European Union law. It contains the full text of consolidated treaties and all legislation in force. It also has the full text of all the Official Journal C and L series for the last 45 days.
  • PreLex
    This site allows you to trace the progress of EU legislative proposals and initiatives.
  • Summaries of EU Legislation
    This is a summary of the main legislative measures and procedures for each of the activities of the European Union.
  • European Court of Justice (CURIA) 
    This provides the full text of proceedings of the Court of Justice and Court of First Instance and Staff Cases from June 1997 onwards, as well as press releases of important decisions.
  • EU Bookshop
    This provides a single access point for the various publications of the European instututions, agencies and other bodies.
  • EU News
    This is a news service and monthly archive providing details of the activities of the European Commission and of the other Community institutions. It includes the archive of the Bulletin of the European Union which ended in 2009. The EDC holds print copies to the end of 2005.

Contacts and Help

Anita Saycell Anita Saycell
(01970 62) 1867