Implementing decision

This legally binding act of the European Union is directly applicable in all member states of the EU. Implementing decisions can address specific legal entities, in which case it is binding only to them.

Implementing decisions are always limited in scope. Their aim is to ensure uniform implementation of European legislation, and the subject-matter of any implementing decision serves that goal alone.


Implementing decision in detail

Area of application

Implementing decisions are directly applicable and need not be transposed into national legislation. This ensures implementation takes a similar shape in each individual member state.

Implementing decisions take precedent over national legislation in case the two contradict one another.

Implementing decisions can only be issued when European legislation stipulates further measures are called for to ensure proper (and often uniform) implementation of said legislation by the member states. The mandate for implementing decisions is limited to what is necessary for the purpose of implementation, no additional, complementary or adjoining rules can be set.

Implementing decisions deal with very specific issues and often address highly technical details of legislation. Often, implementing decisions address specific legal entities.

Legal entities that are directly affected by a implementing decision may make a direct appeal to it in a court of law in relation to both a state as other legal entities.

Adopting implementing regulations

The EU has two procedures by means of which implementing decisions can be established. In both procedures the Commission initiates and ultimately decides on implementing decisions. A committee of representatives of the member states can either advise on or has to approve of implementing decisions.

Implementing decisions in the field of common foreign and defence policy are initiated and decided upon by the Council.


Legal framework

The implementing decision is based on the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TfEU).

  • instrument: part six TfEU title 1 chapter 2 section 1 art. 291


Further information