Decision (EU)

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A decision (earlier decision , English decision ) is a legal act of the European Union and as such part of the secondary law of the Union . Resolutions are adopted based on one of the procedures provided for in the treaties, depending on the subject of the resolution .

Resolutions can be addressed to specific addressees (such as member states, companies or individuals) or to the general public. According to Art. 288 TFEU, they are binding in all their parts, whereby resolutions that are addressed to certain addressees are only binding for them. In exceptional cases, resolutions that are addressed to individual addressees can also have a beneficial effect on third parties . This is the case if a decision addressed to a member state of the European Union contains a sufficiently clear obligation of that state towards individual citizens.

Resolutions are always adopted if a decision is to be binding, but there is no case for the issuing of regulations or guidelines . According to the contracts, they are provided, for example, in the following cases:

Individual decisions

The European Union makes individual decisions by way of resolutions. In this case they correspond to the administrative acts in national law. Individual decisions are aimed at specific addressees (such as member states, companies or individuals) and are only binding for them. They are then usually issued by the European Commission , sometimes also by the other organs of the European Union.

Competition law can be cited as an example of EU decisions : Here, decisions are made on approving mergers between companies. Other cases in which the Commission makes decisions are genetic engineering and hazardous substances law . In both cases, the aim is to permit, prohibit or restrict the placing on the market of a certain genetic engineering product or a potentially dangerous substance.

Individual decisions can also affect Member States as such, such as fines that can be imposed by the Council of the European Union in accordance with Art. 126 TFEU for excessive deficits. In some cases, the member states can be allowed to deviate from certain regulations or directives by resolution .

Common foreign and security policy

Resolutions are also taken in the area of ​​the common foreign and security policy. According to Article 22 of the EU Treaty , the European Council adopts resolutions on the strategic interests of the European Union ( formerly Common Strategy ).

The Council of the European Union takes to sort the 25th EU treaty decisions on about:

  • the actions to be carried out by the Union ( formerly Joint Actions )
  • the positions to be taken by the Union ( formerly common positions ) and
  • the details of the implementation of these resolutions.


As part of the 3rd pillar ( police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters ), the Council of the European Union also passed resolutions on the basis of Articles 29–42 of the EU Treaty in the version before the Lisbon Treaty . These resolutions corresponded to the regulations under the 1st pillar ( European Communities ). The decisions already made will continue to apply as such until they are amended in accordance with the Treaties as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon. In particular, the powers of the European Court of Justice with regard to decisions until they are changed for the first time must continue to be assessed according to the provisions of the treaties in the version provided before the Treaty of Lisbon. This transitional provision will expire five years after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty .

Individual evidence

  1. An example of this can be found in Art. 114 Para. 4 to 6 TFEU .
  2. See Articles 9 and 10, Consolidated Version of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union - PROTOCOLS - Protocol (No. 36) on the transitional provisions