Welcome to the website of the Legislative Observatory.
The Observatory offers the latest state of play on all procedures going through the European Parliament. It has been constantly developing since it was first set up in 1994. New features have been added over the years making the site a rich source of information on the EU decision-making process, with a particular focus on the European Parliament's activities. Among the features available:
The Legislative Observatory database was set up in 1994 as a tool for monitoring the EU institutional decision-making process, with a particular focus on the European Parliament's role. The website has ever since expanded to include more information on Parliament's activities, involving not only its legislative but also its budgetary powers, its right of initiative, its power to endorse appointments, etc.
The Legislative Observatory publishes comprehensive records in English and French, known as "procedure files". Each file has a unique identifying reference number and is constantly updated as the procedure progresses, until it is completed. Daily uploads of the database ensure that any new data can be rapidly added to the procedure files.
The website contains records for all procedures still ongoing - irrespective of when they began - and all procedures that have completed their passage through Parliament since the beginning of the fourth parliamentary term in July 1994.
The banners on the right-hand side of the Legislative Observatory Home page provide direct links to a number of websites belonging to either the European Parliament or the other EU institutions.
Another new feature of the Home page is the part-sesions calendar showing the days of the European Parliament's part-sessions. You can use this calendar to search for procedures on the agenda of past, present or future sessions.
The dates of the current or forthcoming part-session are displayed with links to the procedure files on the agenda for the individual days. This information is regularly updated to take account of the organisational planning for the plenary.
The Home page also lists procedure files that have been published most recently in the Legislative Observatory, as well as any procedure files containing the latest reports tabled for plenary by Parliament's committees.
Lastly, the Home page contains a section linking to the most recent "information document files". These contain documents for information sent to Parliament by the Commission on an official basis and referred internally to the parliamentary committees responsible for the relevant subject areas. The information files disappear from the database after a year, if the committee decides not to draw up a report.
Click on the Search tab to access the Legislative Observatory search tool. The central search box enables users to enter search terms and then filter the list of results, using the search facets that appear on the right-hand side of the screen. Alternatively, you can click on the SEARCH button (or on Enter) to see all the search filters available for the database.
Bear in mind that the Legislative Observatory contains thousands of procedure files, so you might wish to start filtering by parliamentary term, type of procedure, etc. before refining your search further.
If you already know a specific document reference, try clicking on "Search by reference" in the central search box and filling in the various fields.
For more information on the search functions, click on the "information" icon in the central search box.
We would remind users that any search of the Legislative Observatory results in a list of the procedure files containing the information being searched, not a separate list of documents, names, references, etc.
The procedure files are the core product of the Legislative Observatory website. Each procedure file provides a centralised, frequently updated record of information on the different key players, events and documents in an individual procedure dossier. Files of ongoing procedures also contain forecasts for future stages.
As well as document references, links and other useful information, the procedure files also contain factual, politically neutral summaries of major documents and events in a procedure. These summaries are written for the readers of the Legislative Observatory and their aim is to provide a better understanding of the whole process, at all stages.
The procedure files and their summaries are in French and English only, but some of the source document links allow readers to select other available language versions as well. Each procedure file, including all summaries contained in it, opens in PDF which can be saved and printed.
The Legislative Observatory procedure files consist of different sections which can be opened or closed, enabling users to have an overview of the whole file or simply to focus on one section in particular. A typical legislative procedure file will contain the following sections:
This is a personalised area of the Legislative Observatory website enabling you to save any of your searches and request notifications at various intervals if changes occur in the relevant procedure files.
Click on the My Observatory tab to sign up and create your own personal account free of charge.
The Legislative Observatory has a broad customer base, ranging from Members of the European Parliament, their assistants and many officials in the EU institutions to journalists, NGOs, industry lobbyists, research students and many more. The website's statistics show weekly hits running into the thousands, with peak times being the run-up to and during Parliament's part-sessions.
The European Parliament's Directorate-General for the Presidency is responsible for the operational management of the Legislative Observatory, with input from many different services in Parliament. The Directorate-General for Innovation and Technological Support is responsible for the technical management of the website.
You can send a message to the Legislative Observatory Webmaster by clicking on Contact us.