Are you a student, researcher, journalist, politician (MEP candidate), lobbyist, official or an interested citizen in need of updated information about the European Union in a given policy area?
Google has long ago become a verb, but for systematic information there are other resources worth mentioning.
Yesterday, 23 April 2009 the Bulletin of the European Union for December 2008 was published online.
The annual General Report on the Activities of the European Union (latest for the year 2008) offers students and others an overview of developments and sources concerning different policy areas.
EU Bulletin – final version
The monthly Bulletins present updated information. The new Bulletin EU 12-2008 covers the month of December, and it is the final version.
EU Bulletin – provisional versions
Quicker updates are available on the Bulletin EU Home page. At this moment, two provisional versions are available: The January/February Bulletin was published 25 March 2009, and the March Bulletin 2009 was put online 23 April 2009 (so the time lag was only about three weeks).
Taken together, the General Report and the Bulletin offer comprehensive information with detailed references for further study, leaving the researcher only a few weeks to explore from other sources, to be fully updated on an issue of major importance.
Once you have exact references, you may more easily find additional information on the web pages of the institutions, even the Council.
In addition, the EU Bulletin pages contain useful links to acronyms, a glossary, Pre-Lex with Commission proposals and summaries of existing legislation. (The links to the index and the cumulative index did not work.)
The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) is the primary source to use for official EU materials, especially final legislative acts and decisions.
News and discussion
If you need the latest news, you can go directly to the press releases by the EU institutions (Commission, European Parliament, Council etc.) or you can follow the specialised news services with additional coverage, such as EurActiv, EUobserver and EUbusiness. For discussion among EU citizens and civil society, you can access Bloggingportal.eu, which aggregates 345 Euroblogs.