directive Europe

A European directive, or directive in the European regulation, is a legislative act that establishes objectives to be achieved by the countries of the European Union (EU), and they must apply their own laws to achieve it.

directive Europe

The European regulation establishes various tools to achieve the objectives pursued by the European Union. These tools, in law, are known as "legislative acts." Any treaty that the member countries want to promote are reached through the different types of legislative acts. Some are binding and some are not. Some apply to all EU countries and others only to a few.

In the case of the European directive, and unlike the regulation, as we will see below, we are talking about a legislative act, through which the European Union establishes a series of objectives that all countries must achieve. However, these established objectives must be achieved through the application of laws that these same countries, each one of them, must elaborate under their criteria.

Therefore, the directive does not establish any laws or regulations that countries must implement and comply with. Rather, it establishes, as we have said, objectives that countries must achieve through the application of their own legislation and under their own criteria.

A good example can be found in the Directive on consumer rights. This directive establishes the objectives to be pursued, and what is to be achieved, but it is the country, with its own competencies and its own means, that must achieve those objectives.

Difference between European directive and European regulation

Thus, it is convenient to highlight the differences between a European directive and a European regulation.

On the one hand, the European directive is a legislative act, by means of which the European Union establishes a series of objectives that all countries must achieve, and must do so through the application of laws that these same countries must elaborate under their criteria.

On the other hand, the European regulation is a binding legislative act, through which the European Union dictates the need to apply regulatory or legislative changes at the community level. These regulations must be applied in their entirety, and must be applied by all countries equally.

Therefore, we are talking about two very different concepts.

Likewise, there are other legislative acts that we are going to see below, and that should be highlighted.

Other legislative acts: Decisions, Recommendations and Opinions

In order not to confuse the terms, let us briefly look at other European legislative acts that, like the directive, make up the regulation of the European Union.

These acts are the following:

  • Decisions : They are binding legislative acts for those to whom it is addressed (a country, an institution or a company). These must be fully applied by those affected by this decision, as it is directed towards someone in particular.
  • Recommendations : They are non-binding legislative acts. They are communications issued by the European Union with the sole purpose of informing a suggestion that, in its opinion, would improve a certain situation. As its name suggests, it is a recommendation. If they are omitted, there are no legal consequences.
  • Opinions : They are non-binding legislative acts. Similar to the recommendations. They are communications issued by the European Union as a recommendation, but addressed to someone. In this way, the opinion has the objective of informing some institution, company or country of the existence of a point of view different from that of the Government, the management or the presidency. It has no legal consequences to ignore them, and they can be issued by the main institutions of the European Union.

Types of European directives

Among the types of European directives that we can find, we can point out 3:

  • Legislative directive.
  • Delegated Board.
  • Execution directive.

The only difference between these types is the legal aspects. In other words, they differ from each other by the capacity of the European institutions in the application of policies, as well as by the organism that promotes it.

However, in practice, they all pursue the same objective and fulfill the same function.

Example of a European directive

Finally, let’s look at another example of a European directive, our goal being that this concept is well understood.

Thus, another example of a European directive is the Directive on common procedures for granting or withdrawing international protection.

This directive establishes a series of objectives, such as the development of a common policy on political asylum, and how and when this situation could be solved.

The countries, before this directive, must apply measures, with their means and their resources (in many cases European aid is offered to those who comply), to achieve these objectives and resolve the situation notified by the European authorities in said directive.