The treaties constitute the European Union’s ‘primary legislation’, which is comparable to constitutional law at national level. They thus lay down the fundamental features of the Union, in particular the responsibilities of the various actors in the decision-making process, the legislative procedures, under the Community system and the powers conferred on them. The treaties themselves are the subject of direct negotiations between the governments of the Member States, after which they have to be ratified in accordance with the procedures applying at national level (in principle by the national parliaments or by referendum).
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