A protocol is annexed to a treaty i and stipulates detailed measures or actions on a specific part of that treaty. When signatory parties enter into a treaty they are also bound to any protocols governed by the treaty.


Protocol in detail

Area of application

A protocol or any part thereof may include:

  • measures directly applicable to one or more states
  • elements that stipulate more detailed measures are to be adopted later
  • clarification of decision making procedures with regard to specific policies and measures

Protocols are generally used to make arrangements for specific positions and exceptions of individual member states.

Adopting protocols

Protocols are adopted along with treaties. Treaties and their protocols are adopted using one of the procedures for amending the treaties i.


Legal framework

Protocols as a legal instrument are not mentioned in the Treaties. Protocols are annexed to the both the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union.


Further information