This type of legally binding act is no longer used since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force December 2009. It, together with various other legal instruments, was replaced by a new version of the decisionĀ i. The old decision addressed specific legal entities (citizens, organisations or member states). The decision was only binding to those it addressed.


Decision in detail

Area of application

Decisions were directly applicable and as such it was not necessary for them to be transposed into national legislation. By means of a decision the EU was able to:

  • request the addressee to act on a specified subject or measure
  • request the addressee to omit or drop a specified act or measure
  • entitle the addressee to certain rights or benefits
  • impose obligations onto the addressee

An addressee was either a member state, EU citizen or EU organisation or company.

Decisions provided for a means by which to effectively enforce European law. Decisions were used to issue fines for cartels and illegal state aid, or to impose sanctions and coercive measures. It was also used to grant subsidies.

Legal entities were able to make a direct appeal against decisions at the Court of First Instance and possibly appeal to their decision at the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Adopting decisions

Decisions were adopted by the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament, just the Council or the European Commission.


Legal framework

The decision is obsolete since December first 2009. Unless otherwise stated, existing decisions are still in effect.


Further information