Sources of the European law

EU law is created by the legislative powers with which the EU member states have invested the EU institutions. The law created by EU institutions is also binding on all EU member states (Article 10 EC) who must: ‘take all appropriate measures, whether general or particular, to ensure fulfilment of the obligations arising out of this Treaty…’

The main sources of EU law are:

  • EU primary legislation,  – the treaties;
  • EU secondary legislation – regulations, directives, decisions, and the non-binding recommendations and opinions;
  • Rulings on cases brought before the European Court of Justice.

The EU institution often required to contribute to the EU law-making process is the European Court of Justice. Since the establishment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in 1952, its mission has been to ensure that “the law is observed” “in the interpretation and application” of the Treaties. As part of that mission, the Court of Justice of the European Union:

  • reviews the legality of the acts of the institutions of the European Union,
  • ensures that the Member States comply with obligations under the Treaties, and
  • interprets European Union law at the request of the national courts and tribunals.

The main principles governing the relationship between the EU law and the domestic law of the EU member states have been developed and shaped by the ECJ from the aims of the Community as set out in those founding treaties. The main principles are the following:

  • the principle of direct effect (enables European citizens to rely directly on rules of European Union law before their national courts);
  • the principal of supremacy;
  • the principle of proportionality;
  • the principle of subsidiarity;
  • the principle of the liability of a Member State to individuals for damage caused to them by a breach of Community law by that State (European citizens are able to bring an action for damages against a State which infringes a Community rule).


Delchev & Partners law firm has thorough understanding of the European Union legislation and its local implementation. Our legal advisers in Bulgaria will help you harmonize your business activities with any EU provisions and requirements.



Delchev & Partners is a prime, full service, commercial law firm with offices in Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Our experienced team of lawyers  and consultants provide quality legal and tax services in various practice areas to multinational corporations and companies, closely held foreign and local businesses, local entrepreneurs, exempt organizations and individuals, based or operating in any major Bulgarian city – Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas, Stara Zagora etc.