Decision 2009/496/EC, Euratom — the organisation and operation of the Publications Office of the European Union
It sets out the role, responsibilities, tasks and organisational structure of the Publications Office of the European Union.
The Publications Office (OP) is an interinstitutional office whose task is to publish the publications of the EU institutions. It is responsible for publishing legal and general publications in both paper and electronic formats, such as:
the daily Official Journal of the EU in 23 languages (24 when Irish is required);
a range of websites for EU citizens, governments and businesses, including:
EU Open Data Portal,
Tenders Electronic Daily,
the Community Research and Development Information Service.
The OP also ensures the long-term preservation of content produced by EU institutions and bodies.
In addition, the OP provides advice and assistance to the EU institutions in a number of areas, including:
programming and planning their publications programmes;
providing information on trends in the publications market in the EU countries and on the subjects likely to find the widest audience;
providing technological supervision of publishing systems.
The OP has a number of specific tasks, including:
collating documents for publication;
providing preparation, graphic design, correction, page make-up and checking of texts for publication;
indexing and cataloguing publications;
documentary analysis of texts published in the Official Journal and other official texts;
consolidating legislative texts;
managing, developing, updating and distributing the EuroVoc multilingual thesaurus;
organising the printing of publications by the Office’s service providers;
quality control of factors involved in production;
distributing the Official Journal, official texts other than those published in the Official Journal and other non-mandatory publications (via EUR-Lex, EU Publications or as physical prints);
physical and electronic archiving;
creating, purchasing, managing, updating, monitoring and supervising the mailing lists of the institutions and creating targeted mailing lists.
Responsibilities of the institutions
Each institution must use the services of the OP to publish their mandatory publications.
As for non-mandatory publications, EU institutions decide on whether to use the OP services or not.
When EU institutions publish without the involvement of the OP, they must nevertheless ask the Office for identifiers (a classification of publications in an unequivocal and exclusive way) and provide it with copies of the publications.
Decision 2009/496/EC, Euratom of the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 26 June 2009 on the organisation and operation of the Publications Office of the European Union (OJ L 168, 30.6.2009, pp. 41-47)It has applied since 1 July 2009.
Successive amendments to Decision 2009/496/EC have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Regulation (EU) No 216/2013 on the
Electronic publication of the Official Journal of the European Union
It aims to ensure that the EU’s Official Journal (OJ) is published in electronic form which will be authentic and legally binding, in order to allow better access to EU law.
Since July 2013, the electronic edition of the OJ has been available to the public at no charge on the EUR-Lex website in a non-obsolete format and for an unlimited period.
The Publications Office of the EU is responsible for publishing the electronic edition of the OJ and guaranteeing its authenticity. The Publications Office must also manage the information system producing the electronic edition of the OJ and upgrade that system in line with future technical developments.
Where it is not possible to publish the electronic edition of the OJ due to an unforeseen and exceptional disruption of the information system of the Publications Office of the EU, the information system must be restored as soon as possible.
Where it is necessary to publish the OJ when the information system of the Publications Office is not operational as a result of a disruption, only the printed edition of the OJ is considered authentic and legally binding.
Following amending Regulation (EU) 2018/2056, the electronic edition of the OJ must bear a qualified electronic signature or a qualified electronic seal defined in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 910/2014. Qualified certificates for the electronic signature or for the electronic seal will be published on the EUR-Lex website to allow the public to check them and the authenticity of the electronic edition of the OJ.
In 2007, the Court of Justice of the European Union held in its ruling that EU legal acts are not enforceable against individuals if they have not been properly published in the OJ, and that making such acts available online did not equate to valid publication in the OJ, in the absence of any rules in that regard in EU law.
This regulation was adopted to allow the publication of the OJ in electronic form to constitute valid publication, thus making access to EU law both faster and more economical.
Council Regulation (EU) No 216/2013 of 7 March 2013 on the electronic publication of the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ L 69, 13.3.2013, pp. 1-3)
Successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 216/2013 have been incorporated into the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.
Decision 2009/496/EC, Euratom of the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 26 June 2009 on the organisation and operation of the Publications Office of the European Union (OJ L 168, 30.6.2009, pp. 41-47)
Regulation (EU) No 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC (OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, pp. 73-114)