European Law Monitor

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The Assent procedure

For most people this procedure will be of only academic interest, in that it is required for

  • certain international agreements, including the accession of new Member States
  • association agreements with third countries
  • determining the organization and objectives of the Structural and Cohesion Funds
  • determining the tasks and powers of the European Central Bank
  • the appointment of the President of the Commission and the members of the Commission as a body

Before the above can be agreed, the European Parliament must be consulted and the assent of an absolute majority of its Members is required, before matters may be concluded. This procedure does not, however, give Parliament any scope for directly influencing the nature of the legal provisions. For example, it cannot propose any amendments or secure their acceptance during the assent procedure; its role is restricted to accepting or rejecting the legal instrument submitted to it.