European law (in the broad sense of the term) covers the law of the European international organisations. On account of its wide practical impact but also because of its peculiarities, European Union law has developed out of this into a specialist legal area. With the entry into force of the Lisbonne Treaty on Dezember 1st 2009, the Union's structure of three pillars, initiated by the Treay of Maastricht, has been abolished. On the basis of the modified Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and the Treaty on on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), the Union's previous activities will be carried on. Vested with legal personality, the EU has become the legal successor of the European Community (EC). The European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC), constituting together with the EC the first pillar so far and, to a certain extent, core of the European Union (EU), remains. In the strict sense of the term (used in the present context), European law constitutes the law of the European Union.
For the complete documentation see the pages in German, French or Italian.
Federal Office of Justice
European Law and International Human Rights Unit
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