Directives and Regulations are the main forms of EU law.
EU Directives lay down certain end results that must be achieved in every Member State. National authorities have to adapt their laws to meet these goals, but are free to decide how to do so. Each Directive specifies the date by which the national laws must be adapted - giving national authorities the room for manoeuvre within the deadlines necessary to take account of differing national situations.
Directives are used to bring different national laws into line with each other, and are particularly common in matters that affect the operation of the single market
Regulations are the most direct form of EU law and are passed either jointly by the EU Council and European Parliament, and by the Commission alone. As soon as they are passed, they have binding legal force throughout every Member State, on a par with national laws. National governments do not have to take action themselves to implement EU regulations.
They are different from Directives, which are addressed to national authorities, who must then take action to make them part of national law.