THE LEGISLATIVE ACTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Lecturer Adriana DEAC1
Whether we are specialist in law, economics, art or a simple individual, all the citizens of the European Union
meet in daily life, with legal terms such as regulation, directive, decision. We also get in touch, directly or indirectly with
the institutions of the European Union, The Parliament, the Council, the Commission etc. For the states of western
Europe, members of the European Communities for decades, these institutions and legal notions are absolutely normal,
commonplace. For the citizens of the states from central and eastern Eu rope, relatively new members of the European
Union, after 2000, these legal terms are still novelty. This is the reason why, the scientific paper aims to analyze the
provisions of the Lisbon Trea ty, Section 1, Chapter 2, art. 288 and the following regarding the legislative acts of the
European Union. According to art. 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, „to exercise the Union’s
competences, the institutions sh all adopt regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions”. The paper
aims to presents their legal character, the competent institutions to adopt these legislatives acts, the procedure for
adopting and entering into force of these acts. In achieving this scientific objective, we shall present these a cts
comparatively, emphasizing the similaritie s and the differences between th em, considering b oth the provisions of the
Lisbon Treaty, as well as the scientific works in the field of the European Union Law.
Keywords: regulation, directive, decision, recommendation, European Union, legal acts, European Parliament,
European Commission, Council.
JEL Classification: K33
According to art. 288 of the chapter 2, section 1 of the Lisbon Treaty „to exercise the Union’s
competences, the institutions shall adopt regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and
There are institutions of the European Union, the European Parliament, the European
Commission, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, the Central European Bank,
The European Union Court of Justice and the Court of Accounts of the European Union. Of course,
there are many other European Union entities, but only these 7, have acquired the status of
The first clarification to be made is that only these 7 European Union institutions have the
power to adopt legal acts, obligatory either for all or only for some member states and their citizens,
for institutions and for enterprises under all aspects or only on certain aspects.
The second clarification to be made is that the European Union institutions have the power to
adopt not only regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions which are typical or
named legal acts, but also other atypical or unnamed acts, such as declarations, communications,
resolutions, white papers, green books, etc., which result from the practice of the institutions of the
Union, without having an express regulation in the treaties3.
Depending on their binding force, the typical acts can be divided in binding acts, such as
regulation, directive and decision and non-binding acts such as recommendations and opinions.
Depending on the adoption procedure, there are legislative acts adopted by the legislative,
procedure (ordinary or extraordinary) such as regulation, directive, decision and non-legislative acts
adopted by the Commission through the delegation of competences procedure, such as delegated acts
and implementing acts.
Our scientific paper aims to analyze the legal acts adopted by the European Union institutions
by the legislative procedure, ordinary or extraordinary.
1 Adriana Deac – Department of Law, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania, firstname.lastname@example.org.
2 The Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing th e European Community, signed at
Lisbon, 13 December 2007, published in the Official Journal C 306, 17.12.2007, p. 1–271.
3 Ioana Nelly Militaru, The European Union Law, second edition, Universul Juridic Publishing, Bucharest, 2011, p. 126.