Step 3: Second reading

The European Parliament examines the Council's position and either:

  • approves it: the act is adopted
  • rejects it: the act will not enter into force and the whole procedure ends
  • proposes amendments and returns the proposal to Council for a second reading

The Council examines the Parliament's second reading position and either:

  • approves all of the Parliament's amendments: the act is adopted
  • does not approve all amendments: the conciliation committee is convened

The Council votes by qualified majority on the Parliament's amendments for which the Commission has delivered a positive opinion. It votes unanimously on the Parliament's amendments for which the Commission has delivered a negative opinion. The Council can only react to the Parliament's amendments.

Deadline: Three months for each institution, with a possible extension of one month.

Resulting documents:

  • European Parliament legislative resolution on the Council position at first reading, if the Parliament approves the Council's position (in such cases, the legislative act is adopted and published as a directive, a regulation or a decision of the Parliament and of the Council) 
  • Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading, if the European Parliament votes to introduce changes to the Council's position
  • If the Council approves the Parliament's second reading position, the legislative act is adopted. It is subsequently published as a directive, a regulation or a decision of the Parliament and of the Council
  • If the Council does not approve the Parliament's second reading position, there is no official document