Summary of EU Law.


The European Commission describes three basic ‘types’ of EU legislation: regulations, directives and decisions: Regulations - Regulations are the most direct form of EU law - as soon as they are passed, they have binding legal force throughout every Member State, on a par with national laws. National governments do not have to take action themselves to implement EU regulations. A regulation is similar to a national law with the difference that it is applicable in all EU countries. Directives - EU directives lay down certain end results that must be achieved in every Member State. National authorities have to adapt their laws to meet these goals, but are free to decide how to do so. Directives may concern one or more Member States, or all of them. Directives set out general rules to be transferred into national law by each country, as they deem appropriate. Decisions - Decisions are EU laws relating to specific cases. They can come from the EU Council (sometimes jointly with the European Parliament) or the Commission. They can require authorities and individuals in Member States either do something or stop doing something, and can also confer rights on them. A decision only deals with a particular issue and specifically mentioned persons or organisations. This and further information is available from The below sections contain summary tables followed by individual descriptions for relevant Regulations, Directives and Voluntary (Non-mandatory) or National Legislation.