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A Decision, defined in Article 288 of the Treaty on European Union (formerly Article 249 TEC), is one of the three binding instruments provided by secondary EU legislation.[1] A decision is binding on the person or entity to which it is addressed.[1] Decisions may be addressed to member states or individuals.[2] The Council of the European Union can delegate power to make decisions to the European Commission.[1]

The legislative procedure for adoption of a decision varies depending on its subject matter. The Codecision procedure requires agreement of and allows amendments by both the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. The Assent procedure requires agreement of both Parliament and Council, but the Parliament can only agree or disagree to the text as a whole - it cannot propose amendments. The Consultation procedure requires agreement of the Council alone, the Parliament merely being consulted on the text. In some areas, such as competition policy, the Commission may itself issue decisions.

Common uses of decisions involve the Commission ruling on proposed mergers, and day-to-day agricultural matters (e.g. setting standard prices for vegetables).

On the basis of case law, decisions may have direct effect, that is to say they may be invoked by individuals before national courts.[2][3]


  1. ^ a b c Craig, Paul; Gráinne de Búrca (2007). EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed. ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 86. ISBN 978-0-19-927389-8.  
  2. ^ a b Steiner, Josephine; Lorna Woods; Christian Twigg-Flesner (2006). EU Law (9th ed. ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-0-19-927959-3.  
  3. ^ Craig, Paul; Gráinne de Búrca (2007). EU Law, Text, Cases and Materials (4th ed. ed.). Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 279. ISBN 978-0-19-927389-8.  


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