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White Paper

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

  • ‘Adapting to climate change: towards a European framework for action’ (2009);
  • ‘Roadmap to a single european transport area’ (2011);
  • ‘An agenda for adequate, safe and sustainable pensions’ (2012);
  • ‘Towards more effective EU merger control’ (2014).