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Document 31993Y0617(01)

Council Resolution of 8 June 1993 on the quality of drafting of Community legislation

OJ C 166, 17.6.1993, p. 1–1 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT)

In force


Council Resolution of 8 June 1993 on the quality of drafting of Community legislation

Official Journal C 166 , 17/06/1993 P. 0001 - 0001

COUNCIL RESOLUTION of 8 June 1993 on the quality of drafting of Community legislation

(93/C 166/01)


Having regard to the Treaties establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community,

Having regard to the conclusions of the Presidency of the European Council meeting in Edinburgh on 11 and 12 December 1992 to the effect that practical steps should be taken to make Community legislation clearer and simpler,

Whereas guidelines should be adopted containing criteria against which the quality of drafting of Community legislation would have to be checked;

Whereas although such guidelines would be neither binding nor exhaustive they would aim to make Community legislation as clear, simple, concise and understandable as possible;

Whereas these guidelines are intended to serve as a reference for all bodies involved in the process of drawing up acts for the Council, not only in the Council itself but also in the Permanent Representatives Committee and particularly in the working parties; whereas the Council Legal Service is asked to use these guidelines to formulate drafting suggestions for the attention of the Council and its subsidiary bodies,


The general objective of making Community legislation more accessible should be pursued, not only by making systematic use of consolidation but also by implementing the following guidelines as criteria against which Council texts should be checked as they are drafted:

1. the wording of the act should be clear, simple, concise and unambiguous; unnecessary abbreviations, 'Community jargon' and excessively long sentences should be avoided;

2. imprecise references to other texts should be avoided as should too many cross-references which make the text difficult to understand;

3. the various provisions of the acts should be consistent with each other; the same term should be used throughout to express a given concept;

4. the rights and obligations of those to whom the act is to apply should be clearly defined;

5. the act should be laid out according to the standard structure (chapters, sections, articles, paragraphs);

6. the preamble should justify the enacting provisions in simple terms;

7. provisions without legislative character should be avoided (wishes, political statements);

8. inconsistency with existing legislation should be avoided as should pointless repetition of existing provisions. Any amendment, extension or repeal of an act should be clearly set out;

9. an act amending an earlier act should not contain autonomous substantive provisions but only provisions to be directly incorporated into the act to be amended;

10. the date of entry into force of the act and any transitional provisions which might the necessary should be clearly stated.