The consultation procedure enables the European Parliament to give its opinion on a proposal from the Commission, but without any obligation for the European Commission or the Council to take this opinion (including the proposed amendments) into account. The procedure is summed up in some cases with the sentence “the Commission proposes, the Council disposes”, showing that contrary to the Co-decision procedure, the consultation procedure allows the Council to makes its decisions alone.
The consultation procedure is used in quite a number of areas described in the Treaties, and can also be used optionally in other areas not covered by the cooperation or co-decision procedures, when the Commission considers an issue is important or in case of adoption of a non-mandatory instrument, such as recommendations and opinions.
Obligatory areas set in the Treaties include agriculture, competition, tax, the revision of the Treaties.
Documents that must undergo the consultation procedure are marked with the code “CNS”.