Glossary of summaries

Help Export PDF Print this page 

White paper

European Commission White Papers are documents containing proposals for European Union (EU) action in a specific area. In some cases, they follow on from a Green Paper published to launch a consultation process at EU level.

The purpose of a White Paper is to launch a debate with the public, stakeholders, the European Parliament and the Council in order to arrive at a political consensus. The Commission’s 1985 White Paper on the completion of the internal market is an example of a blueprint that was adopted by the Council and resulted in the adoption of wide-ranging legislation in this field.

Recent Commission White Papers include:

  • An agenda for adequate, safe and sustainable pensions (2012);
  • Towards more effective EU merger control (2014);
  • The future of Europe – Reflections and scenarios for the EU27 by 2025 (2017).