Introducing the Central Library of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union and of the European Council

Dear fellow librarians,

The Council of the European Union is the European Union institution where the Member States’ ministers responsible for specific areas (e.g. finance, health, education) meet to discuss issues of common concern within their countries.

The European Council consists of the Heads of State, or Government, of the Member States, together with the President of the Council and the President of the Commission. The European Council provides the Union with the necessary impetus for its development and defines its general political directions and priorities. It does not exercise legislative functions.

The administrative support to both institutions is ensured by the General Secretariat of the Council or GSC. The Central Library identifies and makes available to GSC staff a variety of information resources relevant to GSC core activities, in all 23 working languages of the European Union. Besides paper-based collections available in the reading room or through loans, the Central Library, together with the GSC’s Legal Library and Language Library, selects and delivers a variety of online resources that can be accessed by all GSC staff, generally from within GSC premises.

The Central Library holds over 100,000 monographs and EU publications. Newspapers and periodicals from EU Member States are available in the reading room. The Official Journal of the European Communities is available on paper, on microfiche (until 1997), on CD-ROM (from 1998 on) and via internet.


What we can do for you

1. Specialised Bibliographies

The Central Library is intensifying its outreach towards the EU information networks, the academic community, and civil society.

A major project within this approach consists in establishing and sharing a structured bibliography of literature that deals with the role, the proceedings and history of the European Council, the Council of the EU and the GSC.

We aim to provide researchers with a comprehensive tool to study how these institutions were analyzed from a variety of cultural traditions and angles, including political science, sociology, legal studies, history and others.

We hope it will also trigger further academic interest on the role of the European Council and the Council as permanent platforms for interaction, policy and decision-making between EU Member States.

The bibliography was initially compiled by analyzing our holdings and a variety of other bibliographical sources on EU-related research. At present, it consists of around 860 records referencing approximately 310 books and 550 articles and selected chapters. These references are grouped in specific research fields and indexed according to Eurovoc descriptors.

Provisionally, the bibliography can be accessed at the following link.

We encourage you to test the bibliography’s usefulness against the needs of your research community and would welcome your comments on the structure of the bibliography, or any additional resources we should include. In particular, we would be grateful if you could point us to:
– relevant literature in your holdings – any Master or PhD theses produced at your institution on the subject

2. Inter-Library Loans

All resources referenced in the bibliography are held by the GSC Central Library. We are available to arrange for Interlibrary loans with your Library, in exchange for IFLA vouchers. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information, you can find our contact details below.

3. Research help on European Union topics and international relations

Our team of Librarians is trained to assist students and researchers in preparing lists of references related to their field of interest, if it matches one of the specialisations of the Central Library of the GSC. We encourage you to spread this information to potentially interested students and researchers. To obtain our help, an e-mail to [email protected] indicating the specific field of interest, the desired range of years of publication, and which languages are understood by the researcher is sufficient.

If we can be of assistance to you in the future please do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to your feedback.

Who’s who:

Carlo MARZOCCHI – Head of Sector, Library & Information Service
[email protected], +32(0)2 281 5108

Katharina PAUSCH – Head Librarian
[email protected], +32(0)2 281 6263

Central Library – Reading room
[email protected], +32(0)2 281 6525

Central Library Council of the European Union JL 02 40 GH 24 Rue de la Loi 175 BE-1048 Brussels Belgium

Posted in: Comparative/Foreign Law, Legal Research, Libraries & Librarians, Reference Services