EU recommendation definition

Published by a LexisNexis EU Law expert

What does EU recommendation mean?

Type of act, non-binding in nature, that the EU institutions can adopt to exercise the competences conferred upon them by the Treaties which is part, together with opinions, of sub-set of acts known as EU soft law.

Art 288 TFEU states that to exercise the EU's competences, the institutions shall adopt regulations, directives, decisions, recommendations and opinions and shortly after further clarifies that recommendations and opinions shall have no binding force. In recommendations, the party to whom they are addressed is called on, but not placed under any legal obligation, to behave in a particular way. For example, in cases where the adoption or amendment of a legal or administrative provision in a Member State causes a distortion of competition in the EU internal market is being assessed, the Commission may recommend to the State concerned to adopt measures appropriate to avoid distortion (art 117(1) TFEU). In providing for legal acts of this kind, the drafters of the Treaties anticipated that, given the authority of the institutions and their broader view and wide knowledge of conditions beyond the narrower national framework, those concerned would voluntarily comply with recommendations addressed to them and would react appropriately to the EU institutions’ assessment of a particular situation. However, recommendations can have indirect legal effect where they are a preliminary to subsequent mandatory instruments or where the issuing institution has committed itself, thus generating legitimate expectations that must be met.

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EU recommendation is referenced 1 in Halsbury's Laws of England

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