Passerelle - Main contents
This procedure is used to modify the legislative procedure used in some specific policy areas. The passarelle procedure is only used in those areas where this option is explicitly stated in the Eropean treaties. The use of the passerelle procedure is very limited, but it can have far-reaching consequences for the policy areas concerned.
Roughly, the procedure proceeds as follows: the Council of Ministers must decide, by unanimity, to substitute a special legislative procedure with the ordinary legislative procedure for that policy area.
Step 1: Initiative
The European Commission submits a proposal to revise the European Treaty to the European Parliament and to the Council of Ministers.
Step 2: treatment of the proposal
The European Parliament formulates an advice based on a majority of votes cast. Next, the Council of Ministers decides, by unanimity, whether the ordinary legislative procedure will be used in a certain policy area instead of a special legislative procedure.
Depending on the policy area, the Economic and Social Committee and/or the Committee of the Regions have to be consulted.
The passarelle procedure is used in the following policy areas to change the legislative procedure:
-environmental matters, relating to fiscal matters, spatial planning and soil and water management.
-social policy relating to the right of workers
For all other amendment to the treaties, the ordinary revision procedure applies (for major treaty changes) and the simplified revision procedure applies (focused on revising decision-making and voting methods).
The revision of the European Treaties through the simplified revision policy is based on the Treaty of the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union: