European Union law

European Union law

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European Union law is a body of treaties and legislation, such as Regulations and Directives, which have direct effect
Direct effect
Direct effect is the principle of European Union law according to which provisions of Union law may, if appropriately framed, confer rights and impose obligations on individuals which the courts of European Union member states are bound to recognise and enforce...

 or indirect effect
Indirect effect
Indirect effect describes a situation where national courts are required to interpret national law in line with an unimplemented or badly implemented directive, as opposed to ignoring national law in preference to the directive as occurs when direct effect is invoked...

 on the laws of European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 member states. The three sources of European Union law are primary law, secondary law and supplementary law. The main sources of primary law are the Treaties establishing the European Union. Secondary sources include regulations and directives which are based on the Treaties. The legislature of the European Union is principally composed of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 and the Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

, which under the Treaties may establish secondary law to pursue the objective set out in the Treaties.

European Union law is applied by the courts of member states and where the laws of member states provide for lesser rights European Union law can be enforced by the courts of member states. In case of European Union law which should have been transposed into the laws of member states, such as Directives, the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 can take proceedings against the member state under the EC Treaty. The Court of Justice of the European Union
Court of Justice of the European Union
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the institution of the European Union which encompasses the whole judiciary. Seated in Luxembourg, it has three sub-courts; the European Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.The institution was originally established in...

 is the highest court able to interpret European Union law. Supplementary sources of European Union law including case law
Case law
In law, case law is the set of reported judicial decisions of selected appellate courts and other courts of first instance which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents in a process known as stare decisis...

 by the Court of Justice, international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 and general principles of European Union law
General principles of European Union law
The general principles of European Union law are general principles of law which European Union judges apply when determine the lawfulness of legislative and administrative measures within the European Union. General principles of European Union law may derive from common legal principles in...

.

Sources of European Union law


There are three sources of European Union law: primary law, secondary law and supplementary law. The main sources of primary law are the Treaties establishing the European Union (TEU). Secondary sources are legal instruments based on the Treaties as well as unilateral secondary law and conventions and agreements. Supplementary sources are laws which are not provided for by the TEU, including case law
Case law
In law, case law is the set of reported judicial decisions of selected appellate courts and other courts of first instance which make new interpretations of the law and, therefore, can be cited as precedents in a process known as stare decisis...

 by the Court of Justice of the European Union
Court of Justice of the European Union
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the institution of the European Union which encompasses the whole judiciary. Seated in Luxembourg, it has three sub-courts; the European Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.The institution was originally established in...

, international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 and general principles of European Union law
General principles of European Union law
The general principles of European Union law are general principles of law which European Union judges apply when determine the lawfulness of legislative and administrative measures within the European Union. General principles of European Union law may derive from common legal principles in...

.

Primary law


Primary law is the primary or original source of European Union law. It is treated as a supreme source of law in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU) and prevails over all other sources of European Union law. Primary law establishes the European Union and its systems. It consists mainly of the founding treaties of the European Union, also known as the TEU or Treaties of the European Union
Treaties of the European Union
The Treaties of the European Union are a set of international treaties between the European Union member states which sets out the EU's constitutional basis. They establish the various EU institutions together with their remit, procedures and objectives...

. The Treaties contain formal and substantive provisions, which frame policies of the European Union institutions and determine the division of competences between the European Union and the 27 member states. The TEU establish that European Union law applies to the metropolitan territories of the member states, as well as certain islands and overseas territories, including Madeira
Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

, the Canaries
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

 and the French overseas departments. European Union law also applies in territories where a member state
Member state
A member state is a state that is a member of an international organisation.The World Trade Organization has members that are sovereign states and members that are not, thus WTO members are not called member states.- Worldwide :...

 is responsible for external relations, for example Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 and the Åland islands
Åland Islands
The Åland Islands form an archipelago in the Baltic Sea. They are situated at the entrance to the Gulf of Bothnia and form an autonomous, demilitarised, monolingually Swedish-speaking region of Finland...

. The TEU allows the European Council
European Council
The European Council is an institution of the European Union. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompuy...

 to make specific provisions for regions, as for example done for customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 matters in Gibraltar and Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon. The TEU specifically excludes certain regions, for example the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, from the jurisdiction of European Union law. Treaties apply as soon as they enter into force, unless stated otherwise, and are generally concluded for an unlimited period. The Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Rome
The Treaty of Rome, officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, was an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany...

 provides that commitments entered into by the member states between themselves before the treaty was signed no longer apply. Since the Treaty of Rome has been signed member states are regarded subject to the general obligation of the principle of cooperation, as stated in the TEU, whereby member states pledge to not take measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the TEU objectives. The Court of Justice of the European Union
Court of Justice of the European Union
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the institution of the European Union which encompasses the whole judiciary. Seated in Luxembourg, it has three sub-courts; the European Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.The institution was originally established in...

 can interpret the Treaties, but it cannot rule on their validity which is subject to international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

. Individuals may rely on primary law in the Court of Justice of the European Union if the Treaty provisions have a direct effect
Direct effect
Direct effect is the principle of European Union law according to which provisions of Union law may, if appropriately framed, confer rights and impose obligations on individuals which the courts of European Union member states are bound to recognise and enforce...

 and they are sufficiently clear, precise and unconditional.

The treaties


The Treaties that form primary European Union law include the founding Treaties establishing the European Union, the major Treaties amending the EU, the Protocols annexed to those Treaties, additional Treaties making changes to specific sections of the founding Treaties and the Treaties of accession of new Member States to the EU.

The founding Treaties establishing the different European Communities are:
  • the Treaty of Paris
    Treaty of Paris (1951)
    The Treaty of Paris was signed on 18 April 1951 between France, West Germany, Italy and the three Benelux countries , establishing the European Coal and Steel Community , which subsequently became part of the European Union...

     1951
  • the Treaties of Rome (the Euratom Treaty
    Euratom Treaty
    The Euratom Treaty, officially the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community established the European Atomic Energy Community. It was signed on the 25 March 1957 at the same time as the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community .The Euratom treaty is less well known due to...

     and the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community) 1957
  • the Maastricht Treaty
    Maastricht Treaty
    The Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty...

     1992


The amending Treaties are:
  • the Single European Act
    Single European Act
    The Single European Act was the first major revision of the 1957 Treaty of Rome. The Act set the European Community an objective of establishing a Single Market by 31 December 1992, and codified European Political Cooperation, the forerunner of the European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy...

     1986
  • the Treaty of Amsterdam 1997
  • the Treaty of Nice
    Treaty of Nice
    The Treaty of Nice was signed by European leaders on 26 February 2001 and came into force on 1 February 2003. It amended the Maastricht Treaty and the Treaty of Rome...

     2001
  • the Treaty of Lisbon
    Treaty of Lisbon
    The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

     2007 (entered into force on 1 December 2009)


The additional Treaties amending the founding treaties are:
  • the Merger Treaty
    Merger Treaty
    The Merger Treaty was a European treaty which combined the executive bodies of the European Coal and Steel Community , European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community into a single institutional structure.The treaty was signed in Brussels on 8 April 1965 and came into force...

     on the merger of the executive institutions 1965
  • the Budgetary Treaty amending certain budgetary provisions of the Community treaties 1970
  • the Treaty of Brussels amending certain financial provisions of the Community treaties and establishing a Court of Auditors 1975
  • the Act on the election of members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage in 1976


The Treaties of Accession
Treaty of Accession
The Treaty of Accession can refer to the following treaties of the European Union:*Treaty of Accession 2005*Treaty of Accession 2003The following Acts of Accession:*Acts of Accession of Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom, signed on 22 January 1972...

 concern the accession to the different European Communities: United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 in 1972; Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 in 1979; Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 1985; Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 in 1994; the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Slovakia
Slovakia
The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

 and Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

 in 2003; and Romania
Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

 and Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

 in 2005. The Acts of Accession signed by Norway in 1972 and 1994 never came into force, while the Greenland
Greenland
Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

 signed a Treaty in 1985 giving it a special status.

Secondary law


Secondary law includes unilateral acts and agreements by the Legislature of the European Union. Unilateral acts can be done under Article 288 of the TFEU, including regulations, directives, decisions, opinions and recommendations. Unilateral acts not falling under Article 288 TFEU are atypical acts such as communications and recommendations, and white and green papers. Agreements can include international agreements, signed by the European Union, agreements between Member States; and inter-institutional agreements, for example between European Union institutions.

Directives, regulations, decisions, recommendations and opinions constitute European Union legislation, which must have a legal basis in specific Treaty articles, or primary European law. Directives set (sometimes quite specific) objectives but leave the implementation to the EU's member states. Regulations are directly applicable to member states and take effect without the need for implementing measures.

Supplementary sources of EU law


Supplementary sources of EU law are unwritten sources, including Court of Justice of the European Union
Court of Justice of the European Union
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the institution of the European Union which encompasses the whole judiciary. Seated in Luxembourg, it has three sub-courts; the European Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.The institution was originally established in...

 case law, international law and the general principles of law. Supplementary sources are generally of judicial origin and are used by the Court of Justice of the European Union in cases where the primary and/or secondary legislation leave gaps or do not settle the issue. Since the 1970s fundamental rights
Fundamental rights
Fundamental rights are a generally-regarded set of entitlements in the context of a legal system, wherein such system is itself said to be based upon this same set of basic, fundamental, or inalienable entitlements or "rights." Such rights thus belong without presumption or cost of privilege to all...

, recognised as general principles of European Union law
General principles of European Union law
The general principles of European Union law are general principles of law which European Union judges apply when determine the lawfulness of legislative and administrative measures within the European Union. General principles of European Union law may derive from common legal principles in...

, have become part of primary legislation in European Union law. The European Union and its member states must abide by international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, including its treaties and customary law, and has particularly influenced the development of general principles of European Union law. However, the Court of Justice of the European Union can excluded certain principles of international law that it considers incompatible with the structure of the European Union, such as the principle of reciprocity
Reciprocity (international relations)
In international relations and treaties, the principle of reciprocity states that favours, benefits, or penalties that are granted by one state to the citizens or legal entities of another, should be returned in kind....

 in the fulfilment of state obligations.

Legislature




The legislature of the European Union is principally composed of the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 and the Council of the European Union
Council of the European Union
The Council of the European Union is the institution in the legislature of the European Union representing the executives of member states, the other legislative body being the European Parliament. The Council is composed of twenty-seven national ministers...

. European Union treaties allow for the adoption of legislation and other legal acts so as to allow the EU to pursue the objective set out in the treaties. These are secondary European Union law. The treaties have not established any single body as a legislature. Instead legislative power is spread out among the Institutions of the European Union
Institutions of the European Union
The European Union is governed by seven institutions. Article 13 of Treaty on European Union lists them in the following order: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European...

, although the principal actors are the Council of the European Union (or Council of Ministers), the European Parliament and the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

. The relative power of a particular institution in the legislative process depends on the legislative procedure used, which in turn depends on the policy area to which the proposed legislation is concerned. In some areas, they participate equally in the making of EU law, in others the system is dominated by the Council. Which areas are subject to which procedure is laid down in the treaties of the European Union
Treaties of the European Union
The Treaties of the European Union are a set of international treaties between the European Union member states which sets out the EU's constitutional basis. They establish the various EU institutions together with their remit, procedures and objectives...

.

Court of Justice of the European Union


The Court of Justice of the European Union is established through article 19 of the Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty...

 and includes the Court of Justice, the General Court and specialised courts. Its duty is to “ensure that in the interpretation and application of the Treaties the law is observed”. The Court of Justice consists of one judge from each European Union member state, and the General Court includes at least one judge from each member state. Judges are appointed for a renewable six year term. It is the role of the Court of Justice to rule, in accordance with the Treaties, on cases brought by a member state, a European Union institution or a legal person. The Court of Justice can also issue preliminary rulings, at the request of a member state’s courts or tribunals, on the interpretation of European Union law or the validity of acts by European Union institutions. The Court of Justice can rule in other cases if they are provided for in the Treaties.

Legal system of the European Union


European Union law is applied by the courts of member states and where the laws of member states provide for lesser rights than European Union law, European Union law can be enforced by the courts of member states. In case of European Union law which should have been transposed into the laws of member states, such as Directives, the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 can take proceedings against the member state under the EC Treaty. The Court of Justice of the European Union
Court of Justice of the European Union
The Court of Justice of the European Union is the institution of the European Union which encompasses the whole judiciary. Seated in Luxembourg, it has three sub-courts; the European Court of Justice, the General Court and the Civil Service Tribunal.The institution was originally established in...

 is the highest court able to interpret European Union law. European Union law which can be directly enforced by courts in member states is said to have direct effect
Direct effect
Direct effect is the principle of European Union law according to which provisions of Union law may, if appropriately framed, confer rights and impose obligations on individuals which the courts of European Union member states are bound to recognise and enforce...

.

Simon Hix argues that direct effect and the supremacy doctrine has transformed the EU from an international organisation to a "quasifederal polity". According to J.H.H. Weiler argues that parallels to the architecture of the European Union can be found only in the internal constitutional order of federal states. Sergio Fabbrini argues that the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 developed after the two world wars as Europe moved towards supernationalism with a multi-level system of governance. Vertical federalisation is mixed with horizontal separation of powers between the European Community institutions and therefore the EU does not conform to the structures of a conventional federal system
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

.

Direct effect



In Van Gend en Loos v Nederlandse Administratie der Belastingen, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the provisions of the then EEC treaty were capable of having direct effect before the national courts of EEC member states. The result was to create an alternative manner of enforcing the obligations undertook by member states in the treaties, to the more traditional method of state enforcement in the form of enforcement actions taken by the European Commission at a supranational level. Individuals could now use national courts to invoke EU treaty provisions against member state governments. The pre-conditions for direct effect are that the provisions on which a individual wishes to rely are sufficiently clear and unconditional, and that there is no scope for member states to exercise discretion in implementation. Thus, a regulation that allows member states to privatise roads would not have direct effect and could not be enforced in the courts, because it provides that states may privatise roads, not must privatise roads. While direct effect was first developed in relation to treaty articles, the ECJ subsequently ruled that regulations and decisions could also have direct effect as well. In Marshall v Southampton and South West Area Health Authority (Teaching) (No 1), the ECJ ruled that while directives could also have direct effect, they could only do so in respect of public bodies. However the ECJ has taken a broad view of what constitutes a public body and has found that a state-owned gas company was a public bodies subject to direct effect. In contrast treaty articles, regulations and decisions can have direct effect against private entities. Recommendations and opinions were held to not have direct effect, as they were not intended to be binding, though they should be taken into consideration when interpreting the European Union law they supplement or the national law they implement.

Indirect effect



Indirect effect describes a situation where the courts in member states use European Union law to interpret national laws, as oppose to direct effect where European Union law is applied directly. Treaty articles, Regulations and Decisions can all have direct effect except where they are unclear or conditional. In such cases they may have indirect effect, but are unlikely to be of much use for interpreting national laws. Recommendations and Opinions cannot have direct effect, but may have indirect effect, when interpreting the European Union law they supplement or national laws, as established in Grimaldi v Fonds des Maladies Professionnelles [1989] ECR 4407 Case C-322/88. Von Colson and Kamann v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen [1984] ECR 1891 Case 14/83 established that Directives can have indirect effect in where an individual takes action in a national court against another individual, where a Directive can never have direct effect, or where the provision of the directive is not sufficiently clear and unconditional to have direct effect.

Supremacy



In Costa v ENEL [1964] ECR 585 the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

 held that in situations where there is a conflict between the laws of member states and European Union law, European Union law prevails, because "a subsequent unilateral act incompatible with the concept of the Community cannot prevail". However, according to the 1993 Maastricht Accord the European Union does not prevent member states from maintaining or introducing more stringent laws on working conditions, social policy, consumer protection and the environment, so long as these laws are comply with the Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Rome
The Treaty of Rome, officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, was an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany...

, which has relevant provisions in these areas. Some courts in member states have resented the supremacy doctrine though it is not commonly challenged and the European Court of Justice has encouraged legal interpretation in light of European Union law by courts in member states as alternative to repealing or amending laws of member states which conflict with European Union law. A source of tension has historically been the relationship between the constitutions of member states and European Union law. Unlike the UK, most continental European member states have written constitutions and some have constitutional courts with the exclusive power to interpret the national constitution. The European Court of Justice has rules that such courts must apply European Union law in its entirety, to avoid any conflicting provisions of national law. Until recently the French constitutional court has regarded itself not empowered to review administrative measures, as it did not recognise the review power and duty provided to it by European Union law. The German and Italian constitutional courts initially refused to strike down national laws which conflicted with European Union law. The legal system of the European Union depends heavily on the courts in member states to acknowledge and uphold European Union law, and to follow the interpretation of the European Court of Justice if there is one. The supremacy doctrine has found widespread acceptance, though the direct and indirect application of European Union law still needs to fully establish itself.

General principles



The principles of European Union law are rules of law which have been developed by the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

 that constitute unwritten rules which are not expressly provided for in the treaties but which effect how European Union law is interpreted and applies. In formulating these principles, the courts have drawn on a variety of sources, including: public international law and legal doctrines and principles present in the legal systems of European Union member states and in the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

. Accepted general principles of European Union Law include fundamental rights
Fundamental rights
Fundamental rights are a generally-regarded set of entitlements in the context of a legal system, wherein such system is itself said to be based upon this same set of basic, fundamental, or inalienable entitlements or "rights." Such rights thus belong without presumption or cost of privilege to all...

 (see human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

), proportionality
Proportionality (law)
Proportionality is a principle in law which covers two distinct concepts. Within municipal law it is used to convey the idea that the punishment of an offender should fit the crime...

, legal certainty
Legal certainty
Legal certainty is a principle in national and international law which holds that the law must provide those subject to it with the ability to regulate their conduct. Legal certainty is internationally recognised as a central requirement for the rule of law....

, equality before the law
Equality before the law
Equality before the law or equality under the law or legal egalitarianism is the principle under which each individual is subject to the same laws....

 and subsidiarity
Subsidiarity
Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. The Oxford English Dictionary defines subsidiarity as the idea that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which...

.

Proportionality
Proportionality (law)
Proportionality is a principle in law which covers two distinct concepts. Within municipal law it is used to convey the idea that the punishment of an offender should fit the crime...

 is recognised one of the general principles of European Union law by the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

 since the 1950s. According to the general principle of proportionality the lawfulness of an action dependeds on whether it was appropriate and necessary in order to achieve the objectives legitimately pursued . When there is a choice between several appropriate measures the least onerous must be adopted, and any disadvantage caused must not be disproportionate to the aims pursued. The principle of proportionality is also recognised in Artcile 5 of the EC Treaty, stating that "any action by the Community shall not go beyond what is necessary to achive the objectives of this Treaty".

The concept of legal certainty is recognised one of the general principles of European Union law by the European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

 since the 1960s. It is a important general principle of international law and public law
Public law
Public law is a theory of law governing the relationship between individuals and the state. Under this theory, constitutional law, administrative law and criminal law are sub-divisions of public law...

, which predates European Union law. As a general principle in European Union law it means that the law must be certain, in that it is clear and precise, and its legal implications foreseeable, specially when applied to financial obligations. The adoption of laws which will have legal effect in the European Union must have a proper legal basis. Legislation in member states which implements European Union law must be worded so that it is clearly understandable by those who are subject to the law. In European Union law the general principle of legal certainty prohibits Ex post facto laws
Ex post facto law
An ex post facto law or retroactive law is a law that retroactively changes the legal consequences of actions committed or relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law...

, ie laws should not take effect before they are published. The doctrine of legitimate expectation
Legitimate expectation
In English law, the concept of legitimate expectation arises from administrative law, a branch of public law. In proceedings for judicial review, it applies the principles of fairness and reasonableness to the situation where a person has an expectation or interest in a public body retaining a...

, which has its roots in the principles of legal certainty and good faith
Good faith
In philosophy, the concept of Good faith—Latin bona fides “good faith”, bona fide “in good faith”—denotes sincere, honest intention or belief, regardless of the outcome of an action; the opposed concepts are bad faith, mala fides and perfidy...

, is also a central element of the general principle of legal certainty in European Union law. The legitimate expectation doctrine holds that and that "those who act in good faith on the basis of law as it is or seems to be should not be frustrated in their expectations".

Fundamental rights


Fundamental rights, as in human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

, were first recognised by the European Court of Justice in the late 60s and fundamental rights are now regarded as integral part of the general principles of European Union law. As such the European Court of Justice is bound to draw inspiration from the constitutional traditions common to the member states. Therefore the European Court of Justice cannot uphold measures which are incompatible with fundamental rights recognised and protected in the constitutions of member states. The European Court of Justice also found that "international treaties for the protection of human rights on which the member states have collaborated or of which they are signatories, can supply guidelines which should be followed within the framework of Community law."

The Charter of Fundamental Rights


None of the original treaties establishing the European Union mention protection for fundamental rights. It was not envisaged for European Union measures, that is legislative and administrative actions by European Union institutions, to be subject to human rights. At the time the only concern was that member states should be prevented from violating human rights, hence the establishment of the European Convention on Human Rights
European Convention on Human Rights
The Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is an international treaty to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms in Europe. Drafted in 1950 by the then newly formed Council of Europe, the convention entered into force on 3 September 1953...

 in 1950 and the establishment of the European Court of Human Rights
European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is a supra-national court established by the European Convention on Human Rights and hears complaints that a contracting state has violated the human rights enshrined in the Convention and its protocols. Complaints can be brought by individuals or...

. The European Court of Justice
European Court of Justice
The Court can sit in plenary session, as a Grand Chamber of 13 judges, or in chambers of three or five judges. Plenary sitting are now very rare, and the court mostly sits in chambers of three or five judges...

 recognised fundamental rights as general principle of European Union law as the need to ensure that European Union measures are compatible with the human rights enshrined in member states' constitution became ever more apparent. In 1999 the European Council
European Council
The European Council is an institution of the European Union. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompuy...

 set up a body tasked with drafting a European Charter of Human Rights, which could form the constitutional basis for the European Union and as such tailored specifically to apply to the European Union and its institutions. The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for European Union citizens and residents, into EU law. It was drafted by the European Convention and solemnly proclaimed on 7 December 2000 by the European Parliament, the Council of...

 draws a list of fundamental rights from the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Declaration on Fundamental Rights produced by the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 in 1989 and European Union Treaties.

The 2007 Lisbon Treaty explicitly recognised fundamental rights by providing in Article 6(1) that "The Union recognises the rights, freedoms and principles set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union of 7 December 2000, as adopted at Strasbourg on 12 December 2007, which shall have the same legal value as the Treaties." Therefore the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for European Union citizens and residents, into EU law. It was drafted by the European Convention and solemnly proclaimed on 7 December 2000 by the European Parliament, the Council of...

 has become an integral part of European Union law, codifying the fundamental rights which were previously considered general principles of European Union law. In effect, after the Lisbon Treaty, the Charter and the Convention now co-exist under European Union law, though the former is enforced by the European Court of Justice in relation to European Union measures, and the latter by the European Court of Human Rights in relation to measures by member states.

Social chapter


The Social Chapter is a chapter of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam covering social policy issues in European Union law. The basis for the Social Chapter was developed in 1989 by the "social partners" representatives, namely UNICE, the employers' confederation, the European Trade Union Confederation
European Trade Union Confederation
The European Trade Union Confederation is a trade union organization which was established in 1973 to represent workers and their national affiliates at the European level....

 (ETUC) and CEEP, the European Centre of Public Enterprises. A toned down version was adopted as the Social Charter at the 1989 Strasbourg European Council. The Social Charter declares 30 general principles, including on fair remuneration of employment, health and safety at work, rights of disabled and elderly, the rights of workers, on vocational training and improvements of living conditions. The Social Charter became the basis for European Community legislation on these issues in 40 pieces of legislation.

The Social Charter was subsequently adopted in 1989 by 11 of the then 12 member states. The UK refused to sign the Social Charter and was exempt from the legislation covering Social Charter issues unless it agreed to be bound by the legislation. The UK subsequently was the only member state to vetoed the Social Charter being included as the "Social Chapter" of the 1992 Maastricht Treaty
Maastricht Treaty
The Maastricht Treaty was signed on 7 February 1992 by the members of the European Community in Maastricht, Netherlands. On 9–10 December 1991, the same city hosted the European Council which drafted the treaty...

, instead an Agreement on Social Policy was added as a protocol. Again, the UK was exempt from legislation arising from the protocol, unless it agreed to be bound by it. The protocol was to become known as "Social Chapter", despite not actually being a chapter of the Maastricht Treaty. To achieve aims of the Agreement on Social Policy the European Union was to "support and complement" the policies of member states. The aims of the Agreement on Social Policy are:


"promotion of employment, improving living and working conditions, proper social protection, dialogue between management and labour, the development of human resources with a view to lasting high employment and the combating of exclusion"


Following the election of Tony Blair
Tony Blair
Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

 as UK Prime Minister in 1997 the UK formally subscribed to the Agreement on Social Policy, which allowed it to be included with minor amendments as the Social Chapter of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam. The UK subsequently adopted the main legislation previously agreed under the Agreement on Social Policy, the 1994 Works Council Directive, which required workforce consultation in businesses, and the 1996 Parental Leave Directive. In the 10 years following the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam and adoption of the Social Chapter the European Union has undertaken policy initiatives in various social policy areas, including labour and industry relations, equal opportunity, health and safety, public health, protection of children, the disabled and elderly, poverty, migrant workers, education, training and youth.

Internal Market



The core of European Union economic and social policy is summed up under the idea of the four freedoms - free movement of goods, capital, services and persons. Sometimes, they are also counted up as five freedoms, namely the free movement of goods, capital, services, workers and the freedom of establishment, but the difference is merely in denomination, they both refer to the same areas of substantive law.

EU Competition law



EU Competition law has its origins in the European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
The European Coal and Steel Community was a six-nation international organisation serving to unify Western Europe during the Cold War and create the foundation for the modern-day developments of the European Union...

 (ECSC) agreement between France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in 1951 following the second World War. The agreement aimed to prevent Germany from re-establishing dominance in the production of coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 and steel
Steel
Steel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content between 0.2% and 2.1% by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such as manganese, chromium, vanadium, and tungsten...

 as it was felt that this dominance had contributed to the outbreak of the war. Article 65 of the agreement banned cartels and article 66 made provisions for concentrations, or mergers, and the abuse of a dominant position by companies. This was the first time that competition law
Competition law
Competition law, known in the United States as antitrust law, is law that promotes or maintains market competition by regulating anti-competitive conduct by companies....

 principles were included in a plurilateral regional agreement and established the trans-European model of competition law. In 1957 competition rules were included in the Treaty of Rome
Treaty of Rome
The Treaty of Rome, officially the Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, was an international agreement that led to the founding of the European Economic Community on 1 January 1958. It was signed on 25 March 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany...

, also known as the EC Treaty, which established the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (EEC). The Treaty of Rome established the enactment of competition law as one of the main aims of the EEC through the "institution of a system ensuring that competition in the common market is not distorted". The two central provisions on EU competition law on companies were established in article 85, which prohibited anti-competitive agreements, subject to some exemptions, and article 86 prohibiting the abuse of dominant position. The treaty also established principles on competition law for member states, with article 90 covering public undertakings, and article 92 making provisions on state aid. Regulations on mergers were not included as member states could not establish consensus on the issue at the time.

Today, the Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

 prohibits anti-competitive agreements in Article 101(1), including price fixing
Price fixing
Price fixing is an agreement between participants on the same side in a market to buy or sell a product, service, or commodity only at a fixed price, or maintain the market conditions such that the price is maintained at a given level by controlling supply and demand...

. According to Article 101(2) any such agreements are automatically void. Article 101(3) establishes exemptions, if the collusion is for distributional or technological innovation, gives consumers a "fair share" of the benefit and does not include unreasonable restraints that risk eliminating competition anywhere (or compliant with the general principle of European Union law of proportionality
Proportionality (law)
Proportionality is a principle in law which covers two distinct concepts. Within municipal law it is used to convey the idea that the punishment of an offender should fit the crime...

). Article 102 prohibits the abuse of dominant position, such as price discrimination and exclusive dealing. Article 102 allows the European Council
European Council
The European Council is an institution of the European Union. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompuy...

 to regulations
European Union regulation
A regulation is a legislative act of the European Union that becomes immediately enforceable as law in all member states simultaneously. Regulations can be distinguished from directives which, at least in principle, need to be transposed into national law...

 to govern mergers between firms (the current regulation is the Regulation 139/2004/EC
European Community merger law
European Union merger law is a part of the law of the European Union which regulates whether firms can merge with one another and under what conditions...

. The general test is whether a concentration (i.e. merger or acquisition) with a community dimension (i.e. affects a number of EU member states) might significantly impede effective competition. Articles 106 and 107 provide that member state's right to deliver public services may not be obstructed, but that otherwise public enterprises must adhere to the same competition principles as companies. Article 107 lays down a general rule that the state may not aid or subsidize private parties in distortion of free competition and provides exemptions for charities, regional development objectives and in the event of a natural disaster
Natural disaster
A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard . It leads to financial, environmental or human losses...

.

Criminal law


In 2006, a toxic waste spill off the coast of Côte d'Ivoire
2006 Côte d'Ivoire toxic waste spill
The 2006 Côte d'Ivoire toxic waste dump was a health crisis in Côte d'Ivoire in which a ship registered in Panama, the Probo Koala, chartered by the Dutch-based oil and commodity shipping company Trafigura Beheer BV, offloaded toxic waste at the Ivorian port of Abidjan...

, from a European ship, prompted the Commission to look into legislation against toxic waste. Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas
Stavros Dimas
Stavros Dimas is a Greek politician who was European Commissioner for the Environment from 2004 to 2009. Since November 2011, he has served in the government of Greece as Minister for Foreign Affairs.-Early career:...

 stated that “Such highly toxic waste should never have left the European Union”. With countries such as Spain not even having a crime against shipping toxic waste, Franco Frattini, the Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner, proposed with Dimas to create criminal sentences for “ecological crimes”. The competence for the Union to do this was contested in 2005 at the Court of Justice resulting in a victory for the Commission. That ruling set a precedent that the Commission, on a supranational basis, may legislate in criminal law – something never done before to outlined in treaties. So far, the only other proposal has been the draft intellectual property rights directive. Motions were tabled in the European Parliament against that legislation on the basis that criminal law should not be an EU competence, but was rejected at vote. However, in October 2007, the Court of Justice ruled that the Commission could not propose what the criminal sanctions could be, only that there must be some.

See also


  • Area of freedom, security and justice
    Area of freedom, security and justice
    The area of freedom, security and justice is a collection of European Union policies designed to ensure security, rights and free movement within the EU. As internal borders have been removed within the EU, cross border police cooperation had to increase to counter cross border crime, and thus...

  • Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
    Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
    The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for European Union citizens and residents, into EU law. It was drafted by the European Convention and solemnly proclaimed on 7 December 2000 by the European Parliament, the Council of...

  • Community patent
    Community Patent
    The EU patent or European Union patent, formerly known as the Community patent, European Community Patent, or EC patent and sometimes abbreviated as COMPAT, is a patent law measure being debated within the European Union, which would allow individuals and companies to obtain a unitary patent...

  • Corpus Juris
    Corpus Juris
    The legal term Corpus Juris means "body of law".It was originally used by the Romans for several of their collections of all the laws in a certain field; see Corpus Juris Civilis....

     or Acquis
    Acquis
    The Community acquis or acquis communautaire , sometimes called the EU acquis, and often shortened to acquis, is the accumulated legislation, legal acts, and court decisions which constitute the body of European Union law...

  • Direct effect
    Direct effect
    Direct effect is the principle of European Union law according to which provisions of Union law may, if appropriately framed, confer rights and impose obligations on individuals which the courts of European Union member states are bound to recognise and enforce...

  • Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of personal data
    Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of personal data
    The Data Protection Directive is a European Union directive which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union...

  • EU competition law
  • EudraLex
    EudraLex
    EudraLex is the collection of rules and regulations governing medicinal products in the European Union.-Volumes:EudraLex consists of 10 volumes:*Concerning Medicinal Products for Human use:**Volume 1 - Pharmaceutical Legislation....

  • EUR-Lex
    EUR-Lex
    EUR-Lex is a service providing legal texts of the European Union on its official website europa.eu. Replacing the earlier service CELEX, EUR-Lex provides direct free access to European Union law. The system makes it possible to consult the Official Journal of the European Union and it includes...

  • European Company
    European Company Statute
    The Council Regulation on the Statute for a European Company is an EU Regulation containing the rules for a public EU company, called a Societas Europaea, or "SE". An SE can register in any member state of the European Union, and transfer to other member states. , at least 702 registrations have...

     and Cooperative Statutes
  • European NAvigator
    European NAvigator
    European NAvigator was the former name of the digital library on the history of European integration and related institutions. The research project is now online at www.cvce.eu, a website dedicated to European integration studies....


  • Four Freedoms (European Union)
    Four Freedoms (European Union)
    The European Union's Internal Market seeks to guarantee the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people – the EU's four freedoms – within the EU's 27 member states.The Internal Market is intended to be conducive to increased competition, increased specialisation, larger...

  • Gold-plating
    Gold-plating
    Gold-plating is a term relating to European Union law, used particularly in the UK.Gold-plating refers to the practice of national bodies exceeding the terms of European Community directives when implementing them into national law...

  • Home state regulation
    Home state regulation
    Home state regulation is a term used in European Union law relating to the cross border selling or marketing of goods and services.In a directive, or regulation, where home state regulation applies, if a firm based in country A is selling into customers living in country B, they are regulated...

  • Host state regulation
    Host state regulation
    Host state regulation is a term used in European Community law relating to the cross border selling or marketing of goods and services.In a directive, or regulation, where host state regulation applies, if a firm based in country A is selling into customers living in country B, they are regulated...

  • Incidental effect
    Incidental effect
    Incidental effect is a concept in European Union Law that allows the use of indirect effect of EU directives in private legal actions. While an individual cannot be sued for failure to comply with an EU directive, the state's failure to comply can be an incidental factor in a suit against an...

  • Indirect effect
    Indirect effect
    Indirect effect describes a situation where national courts are required to interpret national law in line with an unimplemented or badly implemented directive, as opposed to ignoring national law in preference to the directive as occurs when direct effect is invoked...

  • List of European Court of Justice rulings
  • Master of European Law
    Master of European Law
    Master of European Law is a specialized Master of Laws degree, awarded after successful completion of a course of study in the law of the European Union and preparation of subsequent master's thesis within this field....

  • Maximum harmonisation
    Maximum harmonisation
    Maximum harmonisation is a term used in European Union law.If a piece of law , is described as maximum harmonisation, that means that national law may not exceed the terms of the legislation...

  • Minimum harmonisation
    Minimum harmonisation
    Minimum harmonisation is a term used in European Union law.If a piece of law , is described as minimum harmonisation, that means that it sets a threshold which national legislation must meet...

  • Supranational law
    Supranational law
    Supranational law is a form of international law, based on the limitation of the rights of sovereign nations between one another. It is distinguished from public international law, because in supranational law, nations explicitly submit their right to make judicial decisions by treaty to a set of...


External links