A resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers or the European Council is a non-binding declaration of political will, rather than a formal legal act recognised by the Treaties. It is characteristically used to embody a firm political consensus, but it has no legal force. For example, the original 1978 agreement in the European Council establishing the European Monetary System (EMS) took the form of a resolution, as did the central commitments contained in the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) in June 1997.

Resolutions are used in the European Parliament to express the views of its plenary on a subject, whether a piece of draft legislation or some broader issue. The expression ‘legislative reso­lution’ has traditionally denoted a resolution which encompasses the formal opinion given by the Parliament on a proposal from the European Commission, to distinguish it from a resolution delivered at the Parliament’s own initiative.

September 2012

Copyright: Anthony Teasdale, 2012

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

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