About ELI

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What is ELI?

The European Legislation Identifier (ELI) is a system to make legislation available online in a standardised format, so that it can be accessed, exchanged and reused across borders. This initiative, taken jointly by EU countries and institutions, is enshrined in the Council Conclusions of 26 October 2012 (2012/C 325/02).

ELI is based on a voluntary agreement between the EU countries. It includes technical specifications on:

  • web identifiers (URIs) for legal information
  • metadata specifying how to describe legal information
  • a specific language for exchanging legislation in machine-readable formats

ELI is funded under Action 1.21, Facilitating the exchange of legislation data in Europe, which falls under the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) Programme.

ELI's advantages

ELI has the following advantages:

  • Better-quality, more reliable legislation data

    ELI helps improve the quality and reliability of legal information online through the use of persistent identifiers and structured metadata.

  • Greater interoperability

    ELI encourages interoperability among information systems by structuring legislation in a standardised way, while taking account of the specific features of different legal systems.

  • Better access to legislation

    Thanks to search engine optimisation, ELI makes it easier to locate legal data, which can thus be more widely used.

  • It promotes the development of new services

    Making legislation available in a structured way helps develop value-added services.

  • Cost savings

    ELI makes information flows more effective and shortens the time taken to publish legislation.

  • It promotes transparency

    By improving access to legal information, ELI makes it easier to follow up work done by governments, and promotes greater accountability.

ELI governance

ELI is governed by a task force comprising representatives of Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg (chair), the UK and the EU Publications Office.