What legal sources need to be considered?

There is a hierarchy of the European Union legal order. Essentially, two levels are distinguished: Primary Law and Secondary Law.

Primary law: Primary law primarily refers to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This treaty encompasses, among other things, the four fundamental freedoms (free movement of goods, persons, services, and capital).

To effectively achieve the common objectives of the EU, more specific provisions are naturally required. These regulations are found in Secondary Law.

Secondary law: The most significant legal acts in Secondary Law are Regulations and Directives.

  • Regulations are binding in their entirety. They apply in each individual member state. This means they no longer require any legislative implementation on a national level. They directly intervene in the legal order of the member states and are applicable in all cases.
  • Directives differ from regulations in that they are not directly applicable. Instead, member states are obliged to incorporate the content or objectives of the directives into their domestic legal framework within certain deadlines.