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In the German-speaking countries, a directive (sometimes called Rili for short ) is an action or implementation regulation of an institution or body that is not a formal law (for the special features of European Union directives, see EU directive ). Whether and for whom a guideline has a binding effect depends on the authorization and recognition of the publisher of the guideline as well as on the type and scope of the binding force applicable to the respective addressee. The regulatory effect of a directive can therefore only be assessed in individual cases.

The term is used ambiguously. On the one hand, there are technical guidelines that are issued by an organization and provide a framework for action. On the other hand, legal guidelines are adopted by a body that is formally authorized by law. In both cases, guidelines have a specific scope, which, depending on the application, e.g. B. may or may not be sanctionable under labor law. Administrative regulations - such as B. the so-called income tax guidelines - are pure instructions from the (finance) minister to the (finance) officials and unfold z. B. no binding effect for citizens or courts.


The concept of the norm is tied to a general understanding and is often not codified, for example in the case of ethical norms . In contrast to this, a guideline is provided with a reference to action and recorded in a document.

The concept of regulation comes from the same context as a law and regulates the implementation of a law in a binding manner. In contrast, a guideline remains a mere recommendation, for example according to the state of the art .

The term “ regulation ” describes a regulation within an organization without any binding effect for actions outside this organization. In contrast to this, it is possible to deviate from a guideline within an organization within the scope of the competencies tied to the respective role.

The concept of standards is bound in its validity to the issuing organization such as international standards (English standards ). It describes a technical consensus. In contrast, policies from the same organization are weaker in related consensus.

The concept of guidelines (e.g. in medicine ) is formally weaker and at least reflects standards published by consensus. Compared to the guideline , a guideline is a recommendation for action without a binding character and without being tailored to a specific case. The basic rule is that a guideline recommends, whereas a guideline requires normatively . Thus, in contrast to the binding guidelines, guidelines are understood as a decision-making aid for an adequate action or procedure.


EU guidelines

An EU directive in the law of the European Union is a framework law that obliges the member states to achieve a specific goal. As a "work mandate", it is aimed at the national legislators of the EU states so that they can create national law in accordance with the guidelines. Only then does it apply immediately.
An EU directive can also apply directly, in whole or in part, if the national legislature does not implement it in national law by the deadline specified in the directive.
The counterpart to this are EU regulations that apply directly throughout the EU and must be applied equally in all countries. No member state parliament has any influence on the validity of the EU regulations.


  • Karsten Fehn, Sinan Selen: Legal handbook for fire and rescue services. Stumpf & Kossendey, Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-932-750-73-X .
  • Roland Bornemann: On the legal nature of broadcasting guidelines . In: Journal for Copyright and Media Law (ZUM), 2012, p. 89 ff.
  • Andreas Corcaci: Compliance in the European Union. Set theoretical concept formation and logical formalization using a QCA of qualitative case studies. Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2019, ISBN 978-3-658-27473-3 .

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Guideline  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Marion Huber: Guidelines: framework, not corset. ÖÄZ 11, June 10, 2013 [1]