Compliance means conforming to a rule, such as a Specification, Policy, Standards, Directives, Regulations and Legislation (both Irish & European).
Describes the goal that organisations aspire to achieve in their efforts to ensure they are aware of and take steps to comply with relevant Laws and Regulations relating to the sector that they are involved in.
A Directive is a legal act of the European Union which requires Member States to achieve a particular result without dictating the means of achieving that result.
It can be distinguished from Regulations which are self-executing and do not require any implementing measures. Directives normally leave Member States with a certain amount of leeway as to the exact rules to be adopted. Directives can be adopted by means of a variety of Legislative Procedures depending on the subject.
The legal basis for the enactment of directives is Article 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
To exercise the Union’s competences, the institutions shall adopt regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions.
A Regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
A Directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the National Authorities the choice of form and methods. **
** National Legislation (Irish) = Statutory Instruments (SI’s) – examples: Irish Road Traffic Act, Construction & Use Regulations and Finance Bill.
1. Recommendations and opinions shall have no binding force.
2. The Council can delegate legislative authority to the Commission and, depending on the area and the appropriate legislative procedures; both institutions can agree on actual law. There are Council regulations and Commission regulations.
Implementation of Directives:
When adopted, Directives give member states a timetable for the implementation of the intended outcome. Occasionally, the laws of a member state may already comply with this outcome, and the state involved would be required only to keep its laws in place. More commonly, Member States are required to make changes to their laws (commonly referred to as transposition) in order for the directive to be implemented correctly.
If a member state fails to pass the required National Legislation, or if the National Legislation does not adequately comply with the requirements of the Directive, the European Commission may initiate legal action against the member state in the European Court of Justice.
This may also happen when a member state has transposed a Directive in theory but has failed to abide by its provisions in practice.