The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/savoir_ue/glossaire/glossaire_d/
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A decision is a legal act through which the European institutions, particularly the Commission in relation to competition, addresses a Member State or an individual directly in order to enforce compliance with Community law or grant rights.
Decisions and framework decisions are instruments of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. The framework decision is used to approximate the legislative and regulatory provisions of the Member States. The decision concerns any other objective than the approximation of the legislative and regulatory provisions of the Member States.
The directive is a Community legal document enacted by the Council of the European Union alone or together with the European Parliament, as the case may be. It is binding on the Member States covered by the directive concerning the objective to be achieved, but leaves them to choose the means and form in which that objective is to be achieved by a deadline set in the directive.
When a directive is not implemented in national law by the deadline, citizens may invoke the rights arising therefrom before the national courts. Non-implementation of a directive may also be the subject of infringement proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European Communities. The Member States have a duty to inform the Commission about the measures taken to apply the directive.