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The European Union’s primary law

The European Union’s primary law

 

SUMMARY OF:

EU primary law

WHAT IS PRIMARY LAW?

KEY POINTS

Primary law, also known as primary sources, is derived from the EU’s:

Scope of primary law:

  • geographical: to EU countries, some islands and overseas territories, such as French overseas departments, and territories whose foreign relations are handled by a member country, such as Gibraltar and the UK (1);
  • temporal: from the time a treaty enters into force.

BACKGROUND

In addition to primary law, EU law is based on secondary and supplementary sources:

International agreements with non-EU countries or with international organisations are also an integral part of EU law. These agreements are separate from primary law and secondary legislation and form a sui generis category. According to some judgments of the CJEU, they can have direct effect and their legal force is superior to secondary legislation, which must therefore comply with them.

MAIN DOCUMENT

Consolidated versions of the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union — Consolidated version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Protocols Annexes to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union — Declarations annexed to the Final Act of the Intergovernmental Conference which adopted the Treaty of Lisbon, signed on 13 December 2007 — Tables of equivalences (OJ C 202, 7.6.2016, pp. 1-388)

last update 13.03.2020



(1) The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union and became a third country (non-EU country) as of 1 February 2020.

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