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ClientEarth Communications

14th July 2016

Clean energy

What is the EU recast procedure and why is it used?

EU laws are increasingly being revised using a recast procedure which is unfamiliar for some people. So what is the EU recast procedure, and why is it used?

Recasting is designed to allow a change to part of a law while protecting other parts of the law from alteration. It results in a new legal act being adopted, which incorporates in a single text the substantive changes made to the law, as well as the unaltered parts of the law.

This new legal act replaces and repeals the earlier act. In fact, the adoption of a recast act follows the same procedure as the adoption of any other legislative act. In most cases, this will be by ordinary legislative procedure.

The defining feature of a recast is that in principle, EU institutions agree among themselves not to introduce amendments to parts of the law other than those the Commissions has proposed to amend. However, the European Parliament or the Council can still suggest amendmends to the Commission’s proposal.

The term ‘recast’ does not exist in the EU Treaties, so some are questioning whether the process should be used. Nevertheless, some EU energy and energy efficiency laws are being altered, with proposed revisions expected later this year.