Council resolution

In this non-binding resolution, the Council of the European Union takes stock of certain developments and/or sets general goals. The resolution's value is political in nature, as it does not state how to achieve a set goal.

The resolution is no longer in official use. With the Treaty of Amsterdam entering into force in 1999, the EU has more specific legal instruments focused on specific policy areas, making the resolutions obsolete. However, since 1999 the Council still adopts non-binding resolutions, albeit rarely.


Resolution in detail

Area of application

Resolutions do not countain specific regulations, nor do they directly result in actions. They are meant to establish frameworks for the EU. A resolution is an impetus for further investigation into a subject, and to what extent actions are desired and possible. It can also be a starting point for the immediate drafting of regulations or an action program. A resolution can concern any subject.

In rare instances resolutions can be (indirectly) binding. This is the case for very detailed and specific resolutions, in which the intention of the Council is made clear.

The European Court of Justice considers resolutions as expressions of political will of the Council. These intentions in turn can be the basis for further decision making. Because a resolution is not a defined legal instrument, it retains flexibility.

Adopting declarations

The Treaties do not say how resolutions are adopted. Depending on the sensitivity of the subject and the extent to which it falls within the competences of the EU, a resolution will we adopted according to one of the methods of voting of the Council. Consensus seems to be the norm.


Legal framework

Declarations as legal instrument are not mentioned in the Treaties.


Further information