A regulation is a written rule or law. European regulations are binding legislative acts. They must be applied in their entirety across the EU simultaneously from the date agreed. Regulations can be distinguished from European directives which are legislative acts that set out a goal that all EU countries must achieve. However, it is up to the individual countries to devise their own laws on how to reach these goals. Directives need to be ‘converted’ into national law before they are enforceable.