Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
European Union regulation
EU regulations have a general scope, and are obligatory in all its elements and directly applicable in all Member States of the European Union. For this reason it constitutes the most powerful or influential form of EU law. A directive, on the other hand, is only applicable in the Member States when the objectives it contains have been transposed into national law.
The Court of Justice has established a differentiation between what it calls 'Basic Regulations' and 'Execution Regulations'. 'Basic Regulations' establish essential rules governing a certain matter, and are normally adopted by the Council. Execution Regulations technically organise these principles; they are usually taken by the Commission or the Council acting on the basis of article 211.
Because regulations have direct effect, the individual countries do not need to pass local laws to bring them into effect, and indeed any local laws contrary to the regulation are overruled, as European Union Law is supreme over the laws of the Member States. Member states therefore have to legislate in the light of, and consistently with the requirements of, EU Regulations.
Examples of matters introduced by regulation were the new '.eu' domain name, and the new European-level 'Community Design Right' an example of intellectual property right. An example of currently debated project of regulation is the Community Patent.
If the European Constitution is ratified and enters into force, regulations will become known simply as European laws, with the term "regulation" shifting to what were previously known as "decisions".
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