According to the European Commission, “The Community acquis is the body of common rights and obligations which bind all the Member States together within the European Union (http://europa.eu/legislation_summaries/glossary/community_acquis_en.htm). It is constantly evolving and comprises:
- the content, principles and political objectives of the Treaties;
- the legislation adopted in application of the Treaties and the case law of the Court of Justice;
- the declarations and resolutions adopted by the Union;
- measures relating to the common foreign and security policy;
- measures relating to justice and home affairs;
- international agreements concluded by the Community and those concluded by the Member States between themselves in the field of the Union's activities.
In addition to Community law per se, the community acquis consists of all acts adopted in the framework of the second and third pillar of the European Union, as well as of the common objectives that lay down in the Treaties. The aim of the European Union is to maintain the community acquis to the maximum and further build on it.
Candidate countries have to accept the Community acquis before joining the Union. Derogations from the acquis are granted only in exceptional circumstances and are limited in number. Applicant countries will have to convey the acquis into their national legislation and implement it from the moment of their actual accession in order to join the European Union.
Free access to EU legislation and other published documentation in EU's 23 official languages, is available for all citizens through the following EUR-Lex website: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for the harmonization to the community acquis and the transposition of EU legislation into national legislation in the areas of its own competencies as follows:
- Food of non-animal origin, Medical Devices, Pharmaceuticals, Cosmetics and Precursors
- Drinking Water
- Sectoral professions of Doctors, Nurses and Midwives, Dentists, Pharmacists
- Paramedical professions of Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists, Chemists, Laboratory Technicians, Opticians, Psychologists, Dietitians, Dental Technicians, Medical Visitors, Chiropractors and beauty therapists.