Official EU Documents

EU legislation (regulation, directive, decision, recommendation) and their preparations (opinion, common position etc.) are called “official documents”. These documents are part of the secondary Union legislation and based on the primary law (EU treaties).

The legal acts adopted by the EU institutions (Commission, Council, Parliament, ESC, CoR) in the exercise of their competences are listed in Article 288 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union TFEU (ABl C 202,. p.171f):

„… A regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.
directive shall be binding, as to the result to be achieved, upon each Member State to which it is addressed, but shall leave to the national authorities the choice of form and methods.
decision shall be binding in its entirety. A decision which specifies those to whom it is addressed shall be binding only on them.
Recommendations and opinions shall have no binding force.”

During the decision-making process and before the adoption a legal act, the EU institutions are constantly cooperating by exchanging documents. These documents are so-called preparatory acts (Commission proposals, Parliament's reports and opinions, Council's common position, opinions of the Economic and Social Committee and those of the Committee of the Regions).

The official documents are part of the EDC database.