A Directive is a type of legislative act adopted by European Union institutions. Along with Regulations and Recommendations, Directives are part of EU legislation.
Unlike a Regulation that is implemented in full and directly, a Directive sets forth goals to be achieved by Member States within a certain period of time. This time allows national governments to adapt the local legislation to the new regulations.
A Regulation is a legislative act of the European Union which, as a rule, is immediately applicable in all Member States at the same time. Generally Regulations differ from Directives which are not implemented directly but need to be transposed first in the national legislation of the Member States. Regulations can be adopted through different legislative procedures depending on their subject.