Primary Source

Primary Source in Europe

The EU Founding Treaties As the Primary Source of Union Law

Content about Primary Source from the publication “The ABC of European Union law” (2010, European Union) by Klaus-Dieter Borchardt.

The first source of Union law in this sense is the EU founding Treaties, with the various annexes, appendices and protocols attached to them, and later additions and amendments. These founding Treaties and the instruments amending and supplementing them (chiefly the Treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon) and the various Accession Treaties contain the basic provisions on the EU’s objectives, organisation and modus operandi, and parts of its economic law. They thus set the constitutional framework for the life of the EU, which is then fleshed out in the Union’s interest by legislative and administrative action by the Union institutions. The Treaties, being legal instruments created directly by the Member States, are known in legal circles as primary Union law.






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