Robert Schütze. European Union Law 2 ed 2018. p 79. How does Figure 3.2 beneath explain the difference between Direct Applicability v. Direct Effect?

enter image description here

On Jul 1 2016, Claire Edwards (BA Jurisprudence, St Anne's College, Oxford) at Norton Rose Fulbright wrote

Since Brexit, the EU law terms ‘direct effect’ and ‘direct applicability’ have at times been conflated. However, they have distinct meanings which should be clarified.

Direct effect refers to the ability of EU Member State nationals to enforce rights derived from EU legislation directly in national courts. In other words, if a provision of an EU Treaty, Regulation, or Directive satisfies the requirements to be directly effective, national courts must enforce the rights that such a provision grants. Therefore, there is no need for nationals to go to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to plead their cases.

Direct applicability, on the other hand, refers to whether a piece of EU legislation becomes part of a Member State’s national law without the need for any implementing legislation. EU Treaties and Regulations are directly applicable, as they come into force without any action on the part of Member States. Contrastingly, EU Directives are not directly applicable, as Member States must implement national legislation, before a prescribed deadline, in order to give effect to them.

I didn't grasp Antonio Racano's article.

  • I voted to close your questions, it would be more productive to ask one about direct effect vs. direct applicability rather than paraphrase books.
    – Relaxed
    Mar 3 '20 at 10:26
  • 2
    @Relaxed Why are you punishing me for showing my research? I want to understand that picture. "paraphrase books" You didn't read my question carefully. I quoted a website.
    – NNOX Apps
    Mar 4 '20 at 8:56
  • 2
    IMO, @Relaxed is probably right. I'm no expert on EU law, but it seems quite possible that the literal answer to your question in the title is "badly" or even "it doesn't." In which case the picture is really just a distraction for potential answerers, as well as for any readers except (possibly) yourself. To "show your research", it would've been sufficient to just link to the sources that you've read and found unclear, maybe even to the picture itself. But framing your whole question around one figure taken out of its original context is generally counterproductive. Mar 6 '20 at 11:54
  • 1
    … Or, to look at it from a slightly different angle: distinctions between various EU legal terms like "direct effect" and "direct applicability" can be notable and of interest to many people. A single diagram in a book is probably not, unless it's a really important diagram in a really famous and widely read book. Mar 6 '20 at 11:54
  • @MarkdaSilva I am not punishing you for anything, it's just that I don't think the question is useful or answerable in this form. I recognize it's a complex topic but I am afraid you might not go about your research in the right way.
    – Relaxed
    Mar 6 '20 at 18:26

Direct Applicability a regulations created by the EU that automatically become law in all the member states of the EU without the each EU country having to pass the regulation individually

Direct Effect is when an EU citizen goes to the EU's court and changes a law in their own country. This only applies to "regulations, directives, treaty provisions and decisions"(Eurofound) (of the EU) which means that laws are changing as an effect of EU provisions that are directly applicable under EU law. So what your diagram is showing is that a direct effect is derived from a Direct Application of EU law and that a direct effect can override a nations Legislature and Judiciary because those are the branches of government that create and interpret EU law.

I hope thats helpful

References Eurofound https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/observatories/eurwork/industrial-relations-dictionary/direct-effect



Thomson Reuters Practical Law


  • Welcome to Politics! Please try to add references to support your answer.
    – JJJ
    Mar 9 '20 at 19:45
  • 5
    You didn't answer my question. You didn't mention the picture once!
    – user30564
    Mar 14 '20 at 2:16
  • 2
    So we have a comment by a deleted sockpuppet of the OP, objecting to the answer; an extant bounty on the question with an almost identical objection to the answer; and two further bounties awarded to this answer by deleted accounts. Something very suspect is going on here.
    – F1Krazy
    Apr 6 '20 at 16:20

When the EU passes a law, it has direct applicability, which means that the EU law must be applied by every member state. That's the green arrow. Cases of direct applicability require the legislatures of the member state to take action: to pass state-level laws that satisfy the constraints laid out in the EU level law.

Some EU laws go further and have direct effect, meaning that the EU law is incorporated into state-level law just as thought the member state legislatures had all passed it themselves. This effectively bypasses the member state legislatures and goes directly to the executive and judicial branches for implementation and suits. That is the red arrow.

It's not a great or clear graphic, but such is life...

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .