Is the European Commission the origin of law in the European Union?

Does this body have the sole right to propose new legislation in the EU?


1 Answer 1


Yes, only the European Commission can propose new regulations and directives, which then normally need the approval of the Council of the European Union and of the European Parliament. Of course, other parties can make suggestions to the Commission; but the Commission is free to act on them, or not.

After the Commission has submitted a proposal, the Council may modify it. If the Commission does not agree with the changes, they can still take effect, but that requires a unanimous decision of the Council (and the approval of the Parliament).

The process for changing the treaties on which the EU is based (so-called primary law) is different, as it lies fully in the hands of the member states.

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