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An opinion is one of the five types of legal act that European Union (EU) institutions can adopt that are listed in Article 288 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). The four other types of legal act mentioned in the article are regulations, directives, decisions and recommendations. The first three are binding, but opinions and recommendations are non-binding.

Examples of opinions issued by EU institutions, within the meaning of Article 288 TFEU, include the following.

  • The European Commission. In the context of a country applying to join the EU, the Council of the European Union invites the Commission to submit its opinion on this application.
  • The Council. In relation to Regulation (EU) No 473/2013 on common rules for monitoring and assessing draft budgetary plans and ensuring the correction of excessive deficits of the EU Member States in the euro area, the Council issues opinions on Member States’ economic partnership programmes.