The assent procedure is a form of all-or-nothing co-decision procedure as it requires the approval of the Council and the European Parliament, but the latter can only vote on the entire proposal, without suggesting any amendments, and in a single reading. Originally, this was justified by the fact that assent procedures mainly applied to the approval of international treaties and agreements. However, the assent procedure’s scope of application has gradually been extended to cover the following areas:

  • certain international agreements,
  • the accession of Member States and the uniform procedure for European elections, the two subjects where the Parliament must act with an absolute majority
  • association agreements and other fundamental agreements with third countries
  • issues relating to citizenship
  • amendments to the Structural and Cohesion Funds
  • recourse to enhanced cooperation for areas subject to co-decision under the first pillar
  • sanctions imposed on a Member state in the event of a serious and persistent breach of fundamental rights
  • specific tasks to be entrusted to the European Central Bank
  • amendments to the Statutes of the European System of Central Banks and the European Central Bank (which requires an initial Council position adopted by qualified majority, all the other cases listed requiring unanimity)

Documents that must undergo the assent procedure are marked with the code “AVC”.

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