On the European Union’s portal for legal information, Eur-Lex, there is a useful sidebar with Preparatory acts.
It leads us to the reports and proposals of the Commission – COM documents – and to the accompanying SEC documents (often with more detailed background information).
One way to simplify EU legislation is by replacing old legal acts, amended a few times (maximum ten), by new codified versions. Codification leads to a new act, although the exercise is technical. It does not change the substance of the original act, as amended, so the procedure is expedited.
A recent example of a proposal to codify EU legislation is the Commission’s Proposal for a Council Regulation (EC) No …/… of […] on the introduction of the euro (Codified version) (Brussels, 1.7.2009 COM(2009) 323 final). Procedure number 2009/0083 (CNS).
The proposal offers a clear example of the codification procedure.
Eur-Lex often offers an unofficial consolidated (updated) version of a law. By using the simple search function for the legal act in question – in this case Regulation 974/98 – by year (1998) and number 974, the Bibliographic notice shows the existing consolidated versions.
In this case we find that the latest consolidated version is of 1 January 2009.