EU Law

Basis of the EU legal system

The European Union is based on its own legal system. The basis of the EU legal system is its founding treaties – The Treaty on the EU,1992 and the Treaty on the functioning of the EU, 1957, as well as the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, 2000, which are valid in the Lisbon Treaty, 2007. The provisions of these acts are detailed and specified in numerous acts of secondary law (regulations, directives, decisions, etc.) adopted by the institutions of the EU, as well as the case-law of the Court of Justice of the EU.

The EU is based on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, in particular of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to Member States in a society dominated by pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity, equality between women and men.

Compliance with these values is mandatory for both the EU and its Member States. Only a state that respects these values can become a member of the EU. Also, under the Association Agreement, respect for EU values is an essential condition for EU cooperation with Ukraine.

The EU's goal is to maintain peace, its values and the well-being of its peoples.

The strategic objectives of the European Union are to ensure the functioning of the internal market without internal borders, where the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital is ensured; the development of a space of freedom, security and justice without internal borders; the maintenance of economic, social and territorial cohesion of the Member States.

All legal acts of the European Union are aimed at achieving the objectives of the EU.

Characteristics of EU law

The EU law is integrative, as it introduces uniform rules for all member States, individuals and legal entities under the jurisdiction of the European Union. The EU law is part of the legal system of member States and has Supreme legal force with respect to their national law. The EU law has direct effect in national law, giving rights not only to its member States, but also to natural and legal persons.

The EU adopts regulations only in those areas and to the extent that it has the relevant powers under the constituent treaties defined by its Member States.

Translations of EU legal acts contribute to the effective cooperation between Ukraine and the EU and the proper implementation of the Association Agreement.

The Government Office for the coordination of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration together with the project team "Support to the implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement" (Association4U) prepare a monthly Review of EU law and approximation of legislation.

The EU Legal Databases Manual (the EU Project Association4U)

The manual contains information on how to use:

use the Official journal of the European Union (Official Journal of the European Union)

use the EUR-Lex website – the main database of EU law (

use and what information can be found on the website of the Court of Justice of the European Union (