Cooperation procedure (SYN) - Main contents
This procedure has been abrogated by the Treaty of Lisbon. The procedure was used primarily in the field of economic and monetary policy. Though the opinion of the European Parliament (EP) weighed heavily in this procedure, the EP could not block legislative proposals under this procedure.
In short, the cooperation procedure proceeded as follows: the European Commission submitted a proposal. The European Parliament adopted an opinion on this proposal after which the Council of Minister took a position. The EP could indicate whether it agreed of disagreed with the position of the Council. The Council could then unanimously approve or reject the proposal.
Step 1: initiative
The European Commission submitted a proposal to the Council of Ministers and to the European Parliament.
Step 2: determination position
The European Parliament delivered an opinion on the proposal.
The Council of Ministers adopted a common position on the proposal. The Council was not obliged to take into account the opinion of the European Parliament, but it did so in practice.
Step 3: adopting resolution (first reading)
The European Parliament voted on the common position of the Council. Four things could happen:
1.the EP did not make any decision regarding the proposal
2.the EP accepted the position of the Council
3.the EP rejected the position of the Council
4.the EP amended the proposal
If the EP did not decide on the proposal or if the EP accepted the position of the Council, the Council adopted the proposal by qualified majority.
If the EP voted against the proposal, the Council decided unanimously.
Step 4: adopting amended decision
If the EP amended the proposal, the proposal was sent to the Commission. The Commission could do two things:
1.the Commission adopted the amendments of the EP
2.the Commission rejected the amendments of the EP
If the Commission adopted the amendments of the EP, the Council decided on the proposal by a qualified majority vote.
If the Commission rejected the amendments of the EP, the Council decided by unanimity.
In all steps of the decision making process, the European Parliament decided by a majority of votes cast. The voting method in the Council of Ministers depended on the position the EP took, as described above.
The cooperation procedure is no longer used.
The cooperation procedure is not described in the current European treaties. None of the present special legislative procedure, including variants, are similar to this procedure.