The bases of the New Approach concept are:
1)    The harmonized standard are presumed to conform to the corresponding essential requirements;
2)    The responsibility to make surveillance on the respect of the safety level and the directive requirements is in charge to the national authorities,
3)    The introduction of a safeguard clause allows the Member States to take measures against the declared conformity of a product  when they have funded reasons to suspect it can compromise the safety or the health of individuals or other public interest or there is a lack of am harmonized standard.

The New Approach concept requires that only the essential requirements specified by the Directives are harmonized.

The concept of essential requirements can be applied only to sufficiently homogenous products, which a horizontal hazard can be identified for, and can be applied consistently to the whole product family.

It shall be possible to submit that family of product (and the related hazard) to a technical norm.

The essential requirements shall not be confused with the product technical specifications.

Note: The New Approach was not applied in sectors where the Community legislation was well advanced before 1985, or for those products where it is not possible to identify a unique related hazard. This is the reason why foodstuffs, chemical products, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles and tractors Community legislation does not follow the principles of the New Approach.