Secondary Legislation (EU)

The EU's 'secondary legislation' is that form of legislation that affects day to day life within the EU and with which most people are familiar.

It is the kind of law made under the powers created and invested in the EU by the treaties – the EU's 'primary legislation'.

EU secondary legislation falls into four categories:

1. Regulations – Regulations issued by the EU are directly applicable and binding in all member states without the need for any legislation in the member states
2. Directives – Directives state objectives to be achieved and impose a requirement on member states to take domestic legislative action themselves to implement those objectives.
3. Decisions – Decisions are binding directly in the same way as regulations, but they only apply to those to whom they are addressed – which may be member states, companies or individuals
4. Recommendations and opinions – Recommendations and opinions are not binding