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Numbering of acts

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The numbering of acts varies according to the type of act and year of publication.

The Interinstitutional Style Guide contains detailed information on this.

Since 2015, each reference number has three parts, in this order: (domain) year/number, for example Regulation (EU) 2016/1627.

  • Domain abbreviation in brackets
    Abbreviation Description
    (EU) European Union
    (Euratom) European Atomic Energy Community
    (EU, Euratom) European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community
    (CFSP) common foreign and security policy
  • Year of publication: 4 digits
  • Sequential number

    This number is assigned from a single series of the Official Journal, regardless of the domain or type of act.

Before 1 January 2015, each act had a sequential number assigned from one of the co-existing series of the Official Journal. The order of the different parts also varied according to the type of act. The numbering system – still used to refer to these acts – has changed over time, as shown in the table below.

Before 1 January 2015
Period Description Example
Regulations
1952 to 31 December 1962 Regulation No 17
1 January 1963 to 31 December 1967 A reference to the relevant treaty/treaties and the year were added to the number Regulation No 1009/67/EEC
From 1 January 1968 Position of the treaty reference changed. Acts were numbered as follows: abbreviation (in brackets), followed by sequential number and year Regulation (EEC) No 1470/68
Directives
Before 1 January 2015 Year followed by sequential number and abbreviation Council Directive 2010/24/EU
From 1 January 1992 to 31 December 2014 Numbers assigned by the General Secretariat of the Council following adoption Directive 2010/75/EU
Some older directives Ordinal number in the title First Council Directive 73/239/EEC
Decisions
Decisions published under OJ L, section I (Legislative acts) Sequential number followed by year and abbreviation Decision No 477/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council
Decisions published under OJ L, section II (Non-Legislative acts) Year followed by sequential number and abbreviation Council Decision 2010/294/EU
Decisions adopted in accordance with a legislative procedure Numbers were assigned from the same series as regulations Decision No 477/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Regulation (EU) No 478/2010, Commission Regulation (EU) No 479/2010 etc.

Dual numbering

Some acts have two numbers:

  • a number assigned by the Publications Office, e.g. (EU) 2015/299, and
  • a number assigned by the author, e.g. ECB/2015/5, ATALANTA/4/2015.

For European Central Bank acts and instruments as well as Political and Security Committee decisions, the number assigned by the author appears in brackets at the end of the title, e.g.:

  • Decision (EU) 2015/299 of the European Central Bank…(ECB/2015/5)
  • Political and Security Committee Decision (CFSP) 2015/711…(ATALANTA/4/2015)

For some acts, the number assigned by the Publications Office does not include a domain and appears in square brackets after the title. These include:

  • decisions of the various councils and committees created by international agreements
  • acts relating to the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • acts relating to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA)
  • regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Examples

Decision No 1/2015 of the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors … [2015/1909]

Decision of the EEA Joint Committee No 159/2014 … [2015/94]

EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision No 30/15/COL … [2015/1813]

Regulation No 78 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UNECE) … [2015/145]

Before 1 January 2015, acts relating to the European Economic Area (EEA) or to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) only had a number assigned by the author.

Unnumbered acts and other texts

Some acts and other texts are not numbered, such as:

  • international agreements attached to a decision
  • information on the date of entry into force of an international agreement
  • corrigenda.