This legally binding act of the European Union is directly applicable in all member states of the European Union. The regulation is similar to national legislation in terms of the impact and direct effect it generates. As such the regulation is the most pervasive of all the legal instruments of the EU.


Regulation in detail

Area of application

Regulations are directly applicable and do not need to be transposed into national legislation. Because of this regulations are to be implemented in a similar form and method by each individual member state.

Should regulations come into conflict with national legislation the EU regulation take precedent and national legislation is disregarded.

Most regulations deal with very specific policies and are often highly technical in nature.

Legal entities may make a direct appeal to regulations in a court of law in relation to both a state as well as other legal entities.

Adopting regulations

A regulation can be adopted through a number of decision-making procedures used in the European Union. A regulation can stipulate that some more detailed measures are to be adopted later. There are strict rules and limitations as to what parts of a regulation may be adopted later.


Legal framework

The regulation is based on the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TfEU).

  • instrument: part six TfEU title 1 chapter 2 section 1 art. 288
  • procedure to adopt: part six TfEU title 1 chapter 2 section 1 art. 289


Further information