The information displayed in EUR-Lex is retrieved from the common repository of metadata and content (Cellar). Cellar is based on semantic technologies, a framework of several standards.
The data in Cellar are not limited to the legal documents and information published in EUR-Lex, but they also include other EU publications (books, leaflets, etc.). Data stored in Cellar can be directly accessed via the SPARQL endpoint and the RESTful API.
Through the SPARQL endpoint you can query all the metadata available in Cellar, including the relationship between the various entities. With the RESTful API you can retrieve specific sets of metadata (often called notices) as well as download the document content files. Both of these choices are available in various formats (PDF, HTML, Formex, etc.).
You can also find more information on Cellar and its RESTful API in the booklet Cellar - The semantic repository of the Publications Office .
EUR-Lex web service
EUR-Lex offers a web service that allows you to search and retrieve metadata from the repository. Any search made on the website can also be done via the web service, including full text search. This web service is based on the SOAP protocol and is freely available after registration.
Although the web service allows for searching within the text of the documents themselves, it cannot be used to directly download the document files. You can download these based on their identifier, either via the Cellar RESTful API mentioned above or by creating a URL as described in our guidelines for stable links.
- Web service User Manual
- data extraction using web services
- web services display metadata
- web services query metadata .
The structure of the data in Cellar is defined in the Common Data Model (CDM), which is based on semantic technologies like RDF Schema and OWL. Current and past versions of the CDM are available on the EU Vocabularies website.
Together with the definition of the ontology, the EU Vocabularies website also contains definitions for controlled vocabularies, taxonomies and the thesauri used by Cellar.
In particular, the EU Vocabularies website provides the various authority tables used in metadata values to refer to specific entities or concepts such as corporate body, treaty, country or language.
The documents available in Cellar and in EUR-Lex are provided in various standard formats, depending on their availability: PDF, HTML, XHTML, etc.
A significant portion of the documents, in particular those published in the Official Journal, are also available in a specific XML format called Formex. More information about this format is available on the Formex website.
Bulk download of the Official Journal
Official Journals (from 2004 onward) in XML format are available for bulk download via the EU Open Data Portal.
They can be downloaded by language and by year.
You can find more information in our frequently asked questions section Can I reuse the entire contents of the EUR-Lex database?