Pillar structure
The third pillar
0 On DEsite
1 General
2 Pillar structure
  • The pillars
  • The first pillar
  • The second pillar
  • The third pillar
  • 3 Bodies
    4 Decision-making
    5 Lobby groups
    6 Case histories
    7 Information and publications

    In the third pillar, too, the Commission shares the right of initiative with the Member States. In case of the Police and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters, the Council can adopt common positions and (framework) decisions and establish conventions. The framework decisions and other decisions are binding (34 EU). On the whole, the Council takes these decisions by unanimous vote.

    Parliament has a slightly stronger position here than in the second pillar, as the Council must consult Parliament before it can take a measure (39 EU). In addition, Parliament must be kept informed of developments in this policy area, and it can direct questions or make recommendations to the Council.

    The Court has limited judicial powers in the third pillar. It may be authorised to answer preliminary rulings, to verify the legitimacy of (framework) decisions, and settle disputes between Member States on decisions.