A non-paper is an informal document, usually without explicit attribution, put forward in closed negotiations within EU institutions, notably the Council of Ministers, in order to seek agreement on some contentious procedural or policy issue. Often circulated by the presidency of the Council, an individual member state or the European Commission, non-papers seek to test the reaction of other parties to possible solutions, without necessarily committing the proposer or reflecting his or her public position up to that point. The documents setting out the various possibilities for structuring and financing the European External Action Service (EEAS), circulated by the Spanish presidency in autumn 2009, even before the Lisbon Treaty had come into force, represent recent examples of non-papers within the Council.

September 2012

Copyright: Anthony Teasdale, 2012

Citation: The Penguin Companion to European Union (2012), additional website entry


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