What is the EU's acquis?
The EU's acquis is the body of common rights and obligations that are binding on all EU countries, as EU Members.
It is constantly evolving and comprises:
- the content, principles and political objectives of the Treaties;
- legislation adopted in application of the treaties and the case law of the Court of Justice of the EU;
- declarations and resolutions adopted by the EU;
- measures relating to the common foreign and security policy;
- measures relating to justice and home affairs;
- international agreements concluded by the EU and those concluded by the EU countries between themselves in the field of the EU's activities.
The term EU law implies the founding treaties (primary legislation), the legal acts that the European institutions adopt in accordance with the treaties (secondary legislation), the general principles of the EU law, case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the law stemming from the EU external relations, and additional law from conventions and similar agreements between the EU Member States, in order implement the provisions of the Treaties.
Primary law consists of the founding treaties, including all related protocols and annexes, the Treaties amending the founding treaties and the accession treaties of each Member State, with all relevant protocols and annexes. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has been based on the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), both of which have an equal legal force. Pursuant to Article 6 of the TEU, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights has the same legal force as the founding Treaties.
The founding treaties set out the legal context within which EU institutions formulate and implement policies. In this sense, the EU institutions adopt the secondary legislation, primarily set out in Article 288 TFEU, namely: regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions.