The European University Institute in Fiesole, near Florence, has condensed 45 years of European law into one volume, Paul Bompard writes.
It presents in the clearest form possible all legislation currently in force, excluding that rendered obsolete by subsequent legislation.
The Robert Schuman Centre produced the edition in English on behalf of the European Parliament. French, Italian, German and Spanish editions will follow. The EUI is an international postgraduate teaching and research centre dealing with the European and international aspects of law, political science and economics.
Experts on European Community law worked together with the Academy of European Law on the project. Simon Towie, the EUI lawyer who coordinated the final drafts, said: "The original material came from the 1951 ECSC Treaty, the 1957 Treaty of Rome and Eurotom treaty, and the 1992 Maastricht treaty.
"There was a great deal of work involved, in particular in cross-references explaining why a certain article had been superseded, and some problems in resolving discrepancies in translation."
The result is a 500-page volume that covers 512 articles of legislation. An even more condensed edition has also been prepared, but has yet to be distributed.
While the final touches are being put to the various translations, work is already beginning on the next, updated edition of the unified text.