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Co-decision (or "codecision") is one of the three lawmaking procedures used in the European Union (the other two are cooperation and consultation). It is the newest method, having been established by the Maastricht Treaty, and it also grants the most authority to the European Parliament. Although it was initially only used in limited cases, the Treaty of Amsterdam and Treaty of Nice established it as the norm.

Stages in the co-decision procedure:

  1. The European Commission drafts the bill.
  2. The European Parliament and Council of the European Union simultaneously review the bill. If both approve the bill as submitted, it is enacted.
  3. Otherwise, the EP and CEU approve different versions of the bill, and form a Conciliation Committee to form a joint text.
  4. Once a joint text is formed, Parliament can then approve or reject it.
When is the co-decision procedure used?

Simple answer: Most of the time.

More complicated answer: Economic and Monetary Union-related legislation still uses the cooperation procedure. There are also a few matters in which the Parliament has no voting power whatsoever, and can only offer opinions to the Commission and Council: new member state admissions, for instance.

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