The ordinary legislative procedure

Council of the EU

The codecision procedure was first introduced in 1992 and its use extended in 1999. With the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, codecision was renamed the ordinary legislative procedure and it became the main decision-making procedure used for adopting EU legislation. It applies to around 85 policy areas.

Reaching an agreement

The Council sometimes uses a 'general approach' to give the Parliament an idea of its position on the legislative proposal submitted by the Commission.

This political agreement is usually used to speed up the legislative procedure and make it easier to reach an agreement at first reading between the Parliament and the Council.

At a glance

Legislators: The Council of the EU and the European Parliament

Right of legislative initiative: The European Commission

Main elements of the procedure:

  1. The European Commission submits a proposal to the Council and the European Parliament
  2. The Council and the Parliament adopt a legislative proposal either at the first reading or at the second reading
  3. If the two institutions do not reach an agreement after the second reading a conciliation committee is convened
  4. If the text agreed by the conciliation committee is acceptable to both institutions at the third reading, the legislative act is adopted

If a legislative proposal is rejected at any stage of the procedure, or the Parliament and Council cannot reach a compromise, the proposal is not adopted and the procedure ends.

Legal base: Articles 289 and 294 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union