Harmonisation in the European Union


In relation to standards, harmonisation is the process of minimizing redundant or conflicting standards. The concept is derived music where discordant music is harmonised.

The goal of harmonisation is to find commonalities and identify critical requirements that need to be retained to provide a common standard.

Directives published by the European Union (EU) are binding for all member states. Each member state must pass their own legislation to bring EU legislation into effect.

If national law conflicts with an EU directive, an individual can take legal action with the European court. National courts are required to take decision as if the directive has been enacted. However, only certain types of Directives may be applicable, given the states membership.

Any European Directives that are adopted by the European Council of Ministers need to be implemented by the member states.

The European courts

European Court of Human Rights

Interprets European convention for the protection of human rights and freedoms. You can discover more about the European court of human rights here.

European Court of Justice

Gives rulings on the interpretation of EU law at the request of either a member state or an individual.

The purpose of the European Court of Justice is to ensure EU law is interpreted and applied the same in every EU country. Thus, ensuring EU countries and institutions abide by EU law.

For further information about the European Court of Justice click here.

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