Step 5: Third reading

The European Parliament examines the joint text. It may:

  • reject it or fail to act on it: the proposal is not adopted and the procedure ends
  • approve the text: if the Council does the same, the legislative act is adopted

The Parliament approves the joint text by a simple majority of votes cast.

The Council examines the joint text. If it

  • rejects it or does not act on it, the proposal will not enter into force and the procedure is ended
  • approves the text, and so does the Parliament, the legislative act is adopted

The Council approves the joint text by qualified majority.

Deadline: Both the Parliament and the Council must act within 6 weeks, starting from the date on which the joint text was approved.

Resulting documents:

  • The Parliament adopts a legislative resolution on the joint text approved by the conciliation committee in which it either approves or rejects the joint text.
  • If the joint text is approved by both institutions, the legislation is published as a directive, a regulation or a decision of the Parliament and of the Council.

Rejection of the proposal

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

A new procedure can start only with a new proposal from the Commission.