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Directives in EU Law

EU Law Presentation

Müge Çınar

on 29 April 2015

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Transcript of Directives in EU Law

A Two-Tier Legal Act
Primary Legislation
(TFEU, TEU, the amending EU Treaties, Accession Treaties etc.)
Secondary Legislation
Sources of Supplementary Law
(Case Law of CJEU, International Law and General Principles of Law)
Secondary Legislation
A directive is a legal instrument of the EU, which requires Member States to achieve particular results.
Direct Effect
Effects of Directives
In principle, directives do not have direct effect.
CJEU has a doctrine of the direct effect. (Van Gend en Loos criteria)
WHY? To combat the disadvantages and the abuse of rights!
They do not confer rights or impose obligations on the Union citizen. If Member States do not comply with their obligation, citizens cannot have benefits of the directives.
The Doctrine of CJEU
The provisions must lay down the rights of the EU citizen/ undertaking with sufficient clarity and precision.
The exercise of the rights is unconditional.
The national authorities may not be given any room for manoeuvre.
The time given for implementation has expired.
Directives have been implemented poorly or late.
Harmonisation of law
To remove contradictions and conflicts between national laws and regulations .
To iron out inconsistencies.
Directives in the EU Law
Sources of EU Law
Unilateral Acts
Convention and Agreements
Art. 288 of TFEU
To exercise the Union's competences, the institutions shall adopt


A regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

A directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the national authorities the choice of form and methods.

A decision shall be binding in its entirety. A decision which specifies those to whom it is addressed shall be binding only on them.

Recommendations and opinions shall have no binding force.
Acts in Art. 288 of TFEU
Atypical Acts
International Agreements
Interinstitutional Agreements
Agreements between Member States
Subject of a Commission proposal.
At the first stage, a directive lays down the objective that is to be achieved at the EU level.
At the second stage, the objective is implemented into the Member States.
Binding with respect to the intended result.
Addressed all or specific Member State(s), not individuals.
Entry into force does not in principle imply direct effect in national law.
MS: free to determine the form and means used to transpose the directive.
Should be done within a specified time.
Administrative custom not enough.
The national authorities have to notify the Commission of these measures.
Distinctive Characters of Directives

Not directly applicable (distinct from regulations)
A text with general application to all the Member States (distinct from decisions)
Adopted following a legislative procedure.
Varieties of Direct Effect
Vertical Direct Effect
Horizontal Direct Effect
In relations between citizens themselves.
Has not been accepted by CJEU
Marshall v. Southampton & South West Hampshire Area Health Authority
Individuals cannot be liable for the consequences of failure to implement.
BUT in more recent case-law, CJEU opens the way of horizontal application!
Also one of the primary means used in the building of single market.
Primary Aim
In relations between individuals and Member States.
Has been accepted by CJEU. (Van Duyn v. Home Office)
Individuals can invoke directives.
Not to detriment of individuals.
Could have negative legal reflex because of the obligation to reconcile.
Indirect Effect
Although CJEU hasn't accepted the horizontal direct effect, the national legal authorities have obligation to interpret national law in conformity with the directives!
Known as horizontal effect.
A Full Direct Effect
A Partial Direct Effect
According to the type of act concerned, the Court of Justice has accepted either a full direct effect or a partial direct effect.
A full direct effect: a horizontal direct effect and a vertical direct effect.
A partial direct effect is confined to the vertical direct effect.

The ABC of EU Law- Prof. Klaus- Dieter Borchardt
Francovich & Bonifaci v. Italy
No obligation to compensate in EU law but it is necessary!
Under certain circumstances, CJEU has also allowed individuals the possibility of redress.
CJEU sees compensation as an integral part of EU legal order and MSs have to pay damages.

by Müge Çınar
Thank you for your patience!
Full transcript