Literally thousands of websites are created every day online. Navigating this behemoth can be difficult at the best of times, and is often made worse by ‘thoughtless’ linking between unrelated sites. Journalists do not have time for aimless surfing – they need to keep their information search targeted.
We have created a page of useful links to websites containing EU information online with two main criteria in mind: they cater for EU journalists based outside Brussels, and they are genuinely ‘useful’ and usually up-to-date.
The sites are divided into three types and sorted alphabetically:
Type 1: Official EU sites
Type 2: Affiliated EU or official sites (including EU-funded projects)
Type 3: Independent sites
Each site is also given a rating of 1-5 based on evidence of regular updating being carried out, where 1 is rarely updated and 5 is constantly updated.
A-Z of ‘useful’ links to EU info
|Site Type||Up-dates||Website and description|
|2||4||A-Z Index to the European Union
Provided by the delegation of the European Commission to the USA, this site offers a useful look at the EU from an outsider’s perspective. The A-Z index links to internal pages as well as to external EU websites and specialised agencies and sites in Europe. Recommended site for EU novices.
|3||5||Centre for European Reform (CER)
CER, an independent think-tank, regards European integration as largely beneficial but acknowledges that the EU is not perfect. It aims to promote new ideas, debate and policies for reforming the Union.
|3||4||Centre for the New Europe
A non-profit, non-partisan research foundation based in Brussels; acts as a forum for discussing, among other things, the practical implications of European Union policies.
|1||5||Committee of the Regions (COR)
Advisory body to the Commission, the European Parliament and Council, it represents local and regional communities at EU level, bringing the Union closer to its citizens – publications, press releases and more.
Short for ‘Community Research and Development Information Service’, funded by the Commission. It hosts a range of R&D and innovation websites and is backed up by an extensive database of EU-funded projects across Europe. Note the ‘National and regional gateways’. In English, plus some content in German, Spanish, Italian and French.
|1||5||Council of the European Union
Up-to-date news and information from ‘the Council’, covering the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), Justice and Home Affairs, and more. The site includes a database of Council documents and EU Agreements, as well as offering a ‘virtual visit’ to the EU institutions – recommended for first-time visitors to the EU.
|3||4||The European Business Directory
New impressive-looking site in 25 languages with information about 550,000 companies across 35 countries.
Hyperion, an Irish Management organisation, offers a comprehensive list of links and follow-up material related to the EU.
EurActiv is an EU policy portal; it provides EU news, policy positions and EU actors online in English, partly in French and German, and is available for free.
The EU and the European Commission’s principal web server covering EU affairs and the latest on European integration. This portal provides access to the websites of the EU institutions for information about policies, administration, the Treaties, legislation in place and pending, etc. Some pages are available in all EU languages. We recommend you go straight to the 'What the EU does' section. Some Europa sites worth remembering (most, if not all, of these sites are regularly updated):
Citizen dialogue (rights of EU citizens, issues relating to employment and educational opportunities)
Coneccs (database of lobby groups, ‘civil society and the EU’)
EU and Non-Governmental Organisations (helpful list of NGOs with an EU slant)
EU General Search Engine (if you cannot find what you are looking for on this site, try a targeted search on Europa’s search engine – patience needed!)
EU Databases (for more specific searching, try the data centres on Europa)
EUR-Lex (The Portal to European Law' includes EU law databases, documents and services, including the Official Journal of the European Union and the acquis communitaire – body of Community law)
Euro (information on the single currency and the European monetary union)
European Commission Central Library Catalogue (ECLAS)
(references to some 350,000 titles on European affairs covering the last 20 years)
European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
(protects the interests of the European Union, to fight fraud, corruption and other irregular activities, including misconduct within the European institutions. It also provides a Press Room in 11 languages. You can find the link here)
European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (civil aviation safety, assists EU legislators in developing common rules for monitoring the aeronautics industry)
European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) (created in the aftermath of the Erika disaster, aims to contribute to the enhancement of the overall maritime safety system in the Community. It provides technical and scientific advice to the Commission in the field of maritime safety)
Eurostat (EU statistics gathering organisation has revamped its website and it still provides good reports and official stats once you find them)
Green Papers (Communications by the European Commission which set out a range of ideas presented for public discussion and debate)
IDEA (EU who's who and electronic directory – if you cannot find someone on this website to ask for a quote, it is a good place to find individuals dealing with relevant policy)
Pre-Lex (database on interinstitutional procedures, including the major stages of the decision-making process between the Commission and the other institutions sporting a new 'what's new' section)
Rapid (database of all press releases from the European Commission)
Tenders Electronic Daily (TED) (lists all EU public tenders and calls for proposals, supplements the Official Journal of the European Union, which is published every working day in all EU languages)
Treaties (the legislation laying down the foundations for the functioning of the EU)
White Papers (documents containing proposals for Community action in a specific area; list dating back to 1985, but needs updating after 2001)
|3||5||Europa Digital (German language site with reasonably up-to-date and well-structured information about the EU, including the latest on the Convention, Presidencies, etc.)|
|3||4||Europa Grande (association that promotes EU enlargement as a means of creating and promoting ever-closer union among Europeans while defending individual freedoms; site is in Spanish)|
|2||4||European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA) (interesting potential source of information and statistics on the legal aspects of industrial and occupational health and safety issues at the EU level, including activities, research, and developments in the member states as such, the site has expanded to include the new members' languages)|
|2||3||European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA) (leading the way with initiatives to include the enlargement countries on its agenda, this site offers information and documents on drug approval procedures across the EU, including press releases check out the publications and use the topic finder)|
|2||5||European Central Bank (ECB) (manages monetary policy for the euro area countries, providing press info, publications, procedures, policies, functions and staff information; in all EU languages)|
|2||2||European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)(background information and documentation on the vocational issues in Europe; multilingual site offering useful contact information, directory and publications to purchase)|
|1||4||European Court of Auditors (annual reports of EU accounts, notes, plus some publications available for the press)|
|1||5||European Court of Justice (overview of the European Court, with some valuable press information, publications, and full text of the Court proceedings, as well as recent case law)|
|1||5||European Economic and Social Committee (ESC or ‘Ecosoc’) (apolitical advisory body to the Commission, the European Parliament and Council, bringing civil society to the EU level – documents, various press material, national representatives and specialists; good for quotes in multiple languages)|
|2||4||European Environment Agency (EEA) (always a hot topic, this site endeavours to keep up with the latest information on environmental issues affecting the EU and abroad – various reports, services, organisational and staff details available in all EU languages)|
|2||4||European Investment Bank (EIB) (the site of the EU's key financing institution is a useful source of EU economic data, press releases and information on borrowing and loan operations, staff, and publications in English, French and German)|
|1||4||European Ombudsman (first appointed in 1995 by the European Parliament, is the target for anyone who has a complaint; for journalists, this site in all EU languages offers a good 'insider's outsider' point of view on EU law as it affects EU citizens near and far)|
|1||5||European Parliament (Europarl) (multilingual information on the European Parliament's activities, committees, parties, etc; also features full text reports and briefing papers on a large variety of topics)|
|2||2||European Police Office (Europol) (this site provides an overview of Europol’s important activities, especially in tackling organised crime, with annual reports, its founding convention, press information, and links to national enforcement agencies)|
|2||4||European Research Gateway On-line (ERGO) (on the CORDIS server, this search engine finds research projects and activities using a simple open search window – a regional journalist could insert his/her location and a key word to see if any of the nearly 100,000 projects match the search criteria)|
|3||3||European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) (members of this organisation include CEOs from 45 of Europe’s biggest manufacturers; the site offers good reports free of charge)|
|3||5||EUpolitix.com (this site provides news on the EU and focuses on legislation in the EU pipeline. Its mission is to provide policy-makers with the relevant information to make an informed policy decision)|
|3||5||Federal Trust, The (as one of Europe's most established education centres on European integration, The Federal Trust aims to enliven debate on good governance through education and research – pleasant looking site providing updated EU information, essays, publications, etc. free of charge: subscribe to the new EU Constitution newsletter)|
|3||5||Federal Union, The (UK) (founded in 1938 to campaign for federalism in the UK, Europe and the world, the Federal Union argues on this site that democracy and the rule of law should apply to states as well as within them; partisan site with up-to-date news about EU federal initiatives and foreign policy)|
|3||2||International Pan-European Union (the oldest European Unification Movement and still going strong, or so it would have you believe from this site; contact information for pan-European offices throughout Europe, available in English, German and French)|
|3||4||Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (always useful to consult for the up-to-date economic statistics, surveys and measures affecting not just the EU, but the whole world trading system)|
|1||5||Presidency of the Council of Ministers (intermediate page to the special website of the EU member state holding the current EU Presidency, featuring Presidency news, policies, and events)|
|2||3||Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union (not exactly the first stop for a journalist, but this Centre's mission is to meet the translation needs of a large number of European bodies and to play a part, alongside all the translation services of the institutions, in the work of the Inter institutional Committee for Translation)|