If you’re not immersed in the regulatory environment of the EU, the process and parties can get confusing. Here are a few definitions to help you, in alphabetical order.
Consultation paper: Similar to the notice of proposed rulemaking process in the U.S., a consultation paper is a proposal shared by a regulator or other relevant authority to get feedback prior to issuing final legislation or standards. The main EU bodies (the Commission, the Council and the Parliament) typically do not openly consult before adopting their positions. The European Banking Authority and EU member states often consult before adopting final legislation/standards.
Directive: A directive is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve. However, directives often allow some flexibility to the individual countries in adopting, for example, stricter than the set minimum requirements or not adopting certain requirements. Directives addressed to member states need to be transposed into national legislation by individual EU countries before a set deadline. It is only then that the requirements become applicable to businesses and individuals.
Draft text: Member states usually issue a draft of their implementing regulations, which is then often open for comments from interested stakeholders for a set time period before the final text is adopted into law.
EU Council: The council defines the general political direction and priorities of the EU. Members are heads of state or government of EU countries, European Commission President, High Representative for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy.
EU Commission: The commission promotes the general interest of the EU by proposing and enforcing legislation as well as by implementing policies and the EU budget. Members include a team or “College” of Commissioners, one from each EU country.
EU Parliament: A directly elected EU body, the parliament has legislative, supervisory and budgetary responsibilities. Its members are called MEPs.
European Banking Authority: The European Banking Authority (EBA) is an independent EU Authority that works to ensure effective and consistent prudential regulation and supervision across the European banking sector. Its overall objectives are to maintain financial stability in the EU and to safeguard the integrity, efficiency and orderly functioning of the banking sector.
Into Force: The effective date or compliance deadline.
Member States: The countries that make up the EU are called member states.
MEP. Member of EU Parliament.
Rapporteurs: A Rapporteur is a member of the European Parliament who is responsible for drafting a report on a draft European Law for the Parliament committee in which he is a member.
Regulation: A regulation is a binding legislative act. It must be applied in its entirety across the EU.
Trilogue: Meeting of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council, which aims to reach an agreement on a compromise text of law acceptable in content and form to the three institutions.
Image Credits: Lars Aronsson