EU institutions, agencies and bodies publish official papers. They range from decisions by the European Ombudsman to speeches, communications and white papers. Below are brief explanations of some of the documents:
Directive - a legislative act that requires all EU countries to achieve a particular result but does not dictate how the result should be achieved.
Regulation - a legislative act that is immediately enforceable as law in all EU countries.
Decision - a binding ruling that can be addressed to an EU country, individual or company.
Communication - a proposal for legislation issued by the European Commission.
Green Paper - a discussion document intended to stimulate debate and launch a consultation process.
White Paper - an authoritative report addressing a specific challenge and how to solve it. Often follows a green paper.