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Glossary

Acquis communautaire

This is a French term referring to the legal order of the European Union. It is the cumulative body of European Union legislation consisting of primary (treaties and protocols) and secondary legislation (regulations, directives and decisions) and the case law of the European Court of Justice. The acquis therefore comprises the objectives of the European Union, its policies and the rules governing these policies. The acquis is fundamental and dynamic, constantly developing as the European Union evolves. All member states are bound to comply with the acquis communautaire because EU law has primacy over national law. Candidate countries have to accept the acquis and integrate it into their own legal system before they can join the European Union.

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