Opinions are non-binding acts by which the European Union conveys an evaluation along with possible actions that can be taken with regard to a certain issue without imposing a mandatory legal framework. Opinions are usually given out to member states or when addressing a very specific situation.
The opinion as a legal instrument should not be confused with advice that European institutions issue as part of of the legislative proces when adopting other various types of legal instruments.
Area of application
Especially when opinions are issued relating to policies it is not expected nor intended that those to whom the opinion is addressed take action immediately. The political significance of the opinion as well as the authority of the EU ought to be a guarantee that the opinion will be adhered to on a voluntary basis in the near future.
Should the EU desire to pass out a more demanding and urgent opinion it will make use of the recommendation.
Opinions are used in any policy areas. In practice, they are mostly issued on economic policies.
Advices are adopted by any of the decision-making procedures of the European Union i.
Exception: advices by the Commission
Advices issued by the European Commission requesting a decision on a certain matter are more urgent and pressing. These are mostly addressed to just the Council of Ministers or the European Council. Such advices usually address issues more technical in nature. These include changes in statutes, appointments or adressing requests by member states that intend to participate in certain policies despite an opt-out.
The opinion is based on the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TfEU).
-instrument: part six TfEU title I chapter 2 section 1 art. 288