A regulation is a legislative act of the European Union jointly adopted by the European Parliament and the Council according to the ordinary legislative procedure defined in Article 294 of the TFEU, or by the Commission alone. Article 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly Article 249 TEC) represents its legal basis providing that "a regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States". This implies that national governments do not have to take action themselves to implement EU regulations. Therefore, as they are adopted by the European Institutions, EU regulations take immediate effect in all the Member States, on a par with national laws. In this respect, EU regulations differ from EU directives, which are addressed to the Member States and need the intervention of the national legislation to be implemented within a determined period of time.
Editor: Bianca GIANNINI
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