It's my understanding that when the EU make a directive, member states then transpose it into force, usually with legislation. But what happens when an EU directive is repealed?

Do member state laws also get repealed automatically? Or is it up to the member state to choose what they do, if anything? And in practice, is there a case that usually happens?

  • 2
    As an aside, a directive can sometimes have direct effect without being transposed, although that’s definitely the exception to the rule. See, e.g., Direct effect of European Union law on Wikipedia.
    – chirlu
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 19:33
  • @chirlu A bit like the GDPR I suppose?' Commented Oct 17, 2017 at 9:02

1 Answer 1


The point of directives is that they concern areas of law where the EU does not legislate directly. They create a requirement that member states must achieve through their own legislation. In the EU's own words

A "directive" is a legislative act that sets out a goal that all EU countries must achieve.

Were a directive to be repealed, it would remove a constraint on national law. That would not automatically lead to a repeal of national law. Of course, national law itself could have a provision effecting the automatic repeal, but that might be problematic because most repeals seem actually to be modifications or recodifications, where national legislatures might be better off amending their transposing legislation rather than replacing it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .