Consult and manage the list of search results

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Each document or legislative procedure is displayed with a set of metadata. If you are a registered user, you can customize the display of the result list in your search preferences.

If you are not a registered user or if you are not signed in, the following default metadata are displayed:

  • For documents:
    • Identifier (CELEX number, e.g., 31994D0295) and title
    • Publication reference (e.g., OJ L 130, 25/05/1994, p.43-63)
    • Type of act (form)
    • 'Direct text access' links in the language of the search
    • Author
    • Date of the document
  • For legislative procedures:
    • Procedure reference (e.g., 2013/0259/NLE)
    • Title
    • Initial reference (e.g.,: COM (2013) 531)
    • Initiating document (usually a CELEX number with link, e.g., 52013PC0531)
    • Adopted acts – if any (usually a CELEX number with link)

Using the icons, drop down menus and links at the top of the search result list, you can:

  • Refine your search query by domain, year of document, author, etc. using the clickable facets (links) in the left‑hand menu.
  • Edit your search
  • Edit in expert search
  • Save to 'My searches'  (registered users only; select documents by clicking the box next to the titles)
  • Create a feed in 'My RSS feeds'  (registered users only)
  • Save to 'My items'  (registered users only)
  • Print the results list
  • Change the sort order of the list using the drop down menus
  • Export selection / Export all search results (PDF, XML, Excel, TSC, CSV)
  • Change displayed metadata
  • Go to another page of the results

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1. Refine your search

After a search, you can use the clickable facets in the left‑hand menu to narrow your search results by domain, year of document, author, etc.:

  • To the left hand side of the search results, clickable facets are displayed arranged by category. For each facet, the number of results you will get after clicking is displayed in parentheses [example: Codecision procedure (COD) (9)]. To display more facets, click the See more drop down menu. The maximum number of facets is 100. Only the facets with the most search results are displayed.
  • When you click on a facet, the search results are updated to reflect the new criterion, and the criterion is added to the search summary box above the search results. An overview of any facets you choose is given just above the facet list on the left, under the heading You have selected. In the results list, only those results corresponding to the new search criteria are shown. Note that if you save the search at this point, it will be saved in its refined form, taking into account the facets you selected.
  • You may click more than 1 facet. With each facet you click, fewer, more‑targeted search results are displayed. To enlarge your search again, remove a facet from your selection by clicking on it in the You have selected section in the menu on the left.

The list of facets depends both on the search form you used and on the information you entered into it. For example, if you specified an author in your advanced search form, the facet for authors will not be displayed, because all documents already correspond to the author of your choice, and therefore the search cannot be refined on this criterion. The selected author is listed in the You have selected section.

Some facets concern hierarchical data. In this case, only the first level of descriptors is displayed. Example: when you click on a year under Year of document, the next level down of the hierarchy – the month – is displayed. Directory codes and Eurovoc descriptors work the same way.

For all facets with hierarchical data, this continues until you reach the lowest level of the facet – at which point the facet disappears from the left‑hand navigation. To climb back up the hierarchy, click the corresponding facet(s) under You have selected.

2. Edit your search

If you want to change your search, you don’t need to write it again. Different edit functions are offered based on the type of search you carried out. 

2.1. Edit a quick search

Change the term(s) you searched for directly in the search box where you typed your initial query.

 You can also make your quick search into an expert search by clicking  (Edit in expert search).

Read more on how to edit in expert search.

2.2. Edit an advanced search

Just below the headline Search results on top of the result list, click on  (Edit search) to go back to the form and modify your original search criteria.

 You can also make your advanced search into an expert search by clicking  (Edit in expert search).

Read more on how to edit in expert search.

2.3. Edit in expert search

Just below the headline Search results on top of the results list, click on  (Edit in expert search) to go back to the form and modify your original search criteria. All types of searches can be edited via expert search.

Quick or advanced searches first need to be transformed into an expert query. This is done automatically when you click  (Edit in expert search) at the top of your results list. An expert search form is displayed, containing your search. The search is transformed into a valid expert search and can be edited, using all the related possibilities.

Read more on how to perform an expert search.

2.4. Use the suggestions

If your search returns no results, and the system thinks that you might have misspelled the term you were searching for, it will suggest an alternative just below the Search criteria box.

Example: Did you mean Ombudsman? Click the suggested term if it is the one you meant to search for.

3. Customise the list of search results

If you are not a registered user or if you are a registered user but have not signed in, the results list is displayed in a default format.

If you are a registered user and have signed in, the results list is displayed in the format you have defined in your search preferences.

All users can customise the display of a results list immediately after performing a search, without logging in to My EUR-Lex. But if you are a registered user, be aware that any changes you make to the search preferences in this way will not be saved.

Read more on setting your search preferences.

3.1. Change the displayed metadata

  1. In a results list, click on Change displayed metadata in the blue box under the Sort by dropdown menus.
  2. A window opens, in which you can select the profile for your search preferences.
    1. If you are a registered user and you have saved one or more search profiles, pick one from the drop down list. Once you make your choice, the information saved in the profile is loaded and you can change it if needed.
    2. If you are not logged in or if you don't have any saved display profiles, the default profile is automatically selected for you.
  3. Tick the checkboxes in front of the metadata to choose them. These will also be added to the results when you print or save them. The metadata are grouped into different categories. You can either select a single element within a category or tick the box in front of the name of the category to select all elements within that category. Categories can be collapsed to hide their elements by clicking on the collpase icon in front of the name.
    There are two selection trees, which you can switch between by clicking the corresponding tab. Simple selection contains a selection of the most common metadata. Advanced selection allows you to choose from all available metadata.
    Note: a small number of metadata cannot be removed from the selection. Examples: Title and Celex number.
  4. You can also define the number of results shown per page in the drop down menu.
  5. Click Apply at the bottom of the window.

Note: your changes will NOT be saved if you click Cancel or click outside the window and return to the results list.

3.2. Sort search results

When you do a quick search, sorting is done on two levels. By default, search results are first sorted in descending order of relevancy. This means that the results that correspond best to your query are listed on top of the result list.

On the second level, results are by default sorted by document identifier (Celex number). This means that if several results correspond equally well to your query, they will be listed in ascending order by Celex number – the document with the smallest Celex number comes first.

To change the sort order, choose sort criteria in the Sort by drop down menu on top of the list of search results. Specify also if you want the criteria in a descending or ascending order. The available sort criteria depend on the search type and the selected domain in the advanced search.

Warning As a registered user, you can also modify the default settings under Search preferences in My EUR-Lex. Find out more about search preferences and read more on registering for My EUR-Lex.

3.3. Go to another page of results

When a search returns a large number of results, they will be displayed on several pages.

Immediately above and below your results list is a blue box. To go to another page of results, click on the page number in the right‑hand side of the blue box or type in a page number in the adjacent, empty box.

Click the next button to go to the next page.

Click the previous button to return to the previous page.

Click the last page button to go to the last page.

Click the first page button to return to the first page.

If you are a registered user, you can define the number of results displayed on one page in your search preferences. The minimum number of results per page is five, the maximum 20. Read more on setting your search preferences.

4. Export the list of results

  1. Select some search results by ticking the boxes next to them and click the Export selection link in the blue box on top of your result list. Alternatively, you can click Export all to export all results.
  1. A window opens, in which you can select the profile for your export preferences.
    1. If you are a registered user and you have saved one or more export profiles, you can pick one from the drop down list. Once you made your choice, the information saved in the profile is loaded and you can change it if needed.
    2. If you are not logged in or if you don't have any saved export profiles, the default profile is automatically selected for you.
  1. Select your export format in the drop down menu. Available export formats are CSV, TSV, MS Excel, XML and PDF.
  1. Tick the checkboxes in front of the metadata to choose them. The metadata are grouped into different categories. You can either select a single element within a category or tick the box in front of the name of the category to select all elements within that category. Categories can be collapsed to hide their elements by clicking on the collapse icon in front of the name.
    There are two selection trees, which you can switch between by clicking the corresponding tab. Simple selection contains a selection of the most common metadata. Advanced selection allows you to choose from all available metadata.

Note: The CELEX number, author, relevancy and direct access links will always be exported

  1. Click Export. A File download window opens, containing the selected search result(s) in a file of the chosen format. You then click:
    • Open – to open the file on your device
    • Save – to save the file wherever you like using your browser's standard download features
    • Cancel – to cancel the export and return to the results list.

5. Boosted items

A list of boosted items is displayed in case of a quick search that uses specific key words. These items are highlighted in blue. A maximum of ten boosted items is displayed.