What is the secondary legislation of the European Union?
Law made by the European Union institutions in exercising the powers conferred on them by the Treaties is referred to as secondary legislation. Secondary legislation consists of the legal acts listed and defined in Article 249 of the EC Treaty i.e. regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions.
What are European Community regulations?
Regulations are legislative instruments of general application. They apply to abstract rather than individual situations. For example, many regulations apply to operators in the agricultural sector. Regulations are binding in their entirety. This means that a Member State has no power to apply regulations incompletely or to apply only those provisions of which it approves. Regulations are also directly applicable. This means that regulations do not need to be transposed into national law by the respective Member States in order to take effect.
Recent regulations include Regulation 261/2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding or cancellation or long delay of flights.
What are European Union directives?
Directives are legislative instruments which reconcile the dual objective of both securing the necessary uniformity of Community law and respecting the diversity of national traditions and structures. Directives are binding on Member States as to the result to be achieved but leave it to the respective national authorities to decide how the Community objective set out in the directive is to be incorporated into their domestic legal systems before a specified date.
A directive does not acquire legal force and effect until the date for implementation of the directive has expired.
Examples of directives which have been incorporated into Irish law include the Unfair Contract Terms Directive 93/13/EEC incorporated into Irish law under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1995 and the Product Liability Directive 85/374/EEC incorporated into Irish law under the Liability for Defective Products Act 1991.
What are European Union decisions?
A decision is an individual act addressed to a specified person or persons. Decisions are binding only on those to whom they are addressed without any need for implementation into national law.
Examples of situations where decisions are used include the granting or refusal of State aid, the annulment of agreements or arrangements contrary to fair competition and the imposition of fines or corrective measures. An interesting recent decision is that of the Commission issued on 11th December 2002 on aid granted by Greece to Olympic Airways.
Recommendations and Opinions
What are European Union recommendations and opinions?
Recommendations and opinions are non-binding instruments of Community law. They are of persuasive value only.