Nav 8.2: Legal acts in the EU

Length Browsing: 25 minutes Reporting: 20 minutes
  • To gain more insight into the choice and form of actual pieces of legislation in the EU in different policy areas.
  • To become acquainted with the EUR-lex website
Introduction Chapter 8 has given an overview of the different types of legal acts the EU makes use of. In this exercise you will chart the use of these different instruments for a specific policy area in order to understand better the choice for a specific instrument. The EUR-Lex website collects all EU legislation and enables you to search for it in many different ways. In this exercise you will make use of the Thematic files, which contain the most relevant recent legislation sorted by policy area.

  • Under the tab “EU law and related documents”, go to “Legislation”.
  • In the menu on the left-hand side of your screen, go to “Directory of European Union legislation”.
  • Under “03 Agriculture”, go to “03.10 Basic provisions” and then “03.10.20 Common agricultural policy mechanisms”. Click on “number of acts” and look at the different acts that are listed there.
  • Do the same for “05 Freedom of movement for workers and social policy” and then “05.10 Freedom of movement for workers”.
  • For both areas, count the number of directives, regulations and decisions adopted.
  • Does the relative number of directives, regulations and decisions in these two policy areas match the distribution pattern displayed in figure 8.3 of the book?
  • Do the two policy areas differ in regard to the relative use of directives, regulations and decisions? If so, how can you explain this difference?
  • Compare a directive/regulation adopted by the Council (and EP) with one adopted by the Commission. Is there a clear difference in scope when looking at its contents?