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1.2.2. Numbering of acts

The Publications Office provides the numbering.

Numbering

The number of an act is made up of three parts, presented in the following order:

the abbreviation for the domain placed within brackets (‘EU’ for the European Union, ‘Euratom’ for the European Atomic Energy Community, ‘EU, Euratom’ for the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, ‘CFSP’ for the common foreign and security policy),
a reference to the year of publication, comprising four digits,
the sequential number, assigned from one single series, irrespective of the type and the domain of the act, and comprised of as many digits as necessary.

(domain) YYYY/N

Before 1 January 2015

The numbering of acts varied according to the type of act, and is still used in references to these acts.

General principles
(a)
When the sequential number precedes the year, the abbreviation ‘No’ is used:
Commission Regulation (EU) No 16/2010
Decision No 284/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council

However, when the year precedes the sequential number, the abbreviation ‘No’ is not used:

Commission Decision 2010/300/EU
(b)
The year comprises four digits (two before 1 January 1999):
Commission Regulation (EC) No 23/1999
Council Decision 2010/294/EU
Council Regulation (EC) No 2820/98
NB:

The abbreviations for the domain have changed over the years as new treaties and amendments to the Treaties have been adopted.

Before 1 November 1993: the abbreviations used are ‘EEC’, ‘ECSC’, ‘Euratom’.
As of 1 November 1993 (date of entry into force of the Treaty of Maastricht): ‘EEC’ becomes ‘EC’. The abbreviations ‘JHA’ (for Justice and Home Affairs), ‘CFSP’ (for the common foreign and security policy) and ‘CMS’ (for conventions signed between Member States) are added.
Since 24 July 2002 (after the expiry of the ECSC Treaty), ‘ECSC’ is no longer used.
On 1 December 2009, following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the abbreviation ‘EU’ is introduced. The abbreviation ‘EC’ is no longer used. Among the abbreviations created following the entry into force of the Treaty on European Union, ‘CFSP’ is maintained, whereas ‘JHA’ and ‘CMS’ are no longer used.
Numbering

Acts have a sequential number assigned from one of the co-existing series, and the order of the elements depends on the type of act.

Regulations

These acts are numbered as follows: abbreviation (in brackets), followed by the sequential number and the year:

Regulation (EU) No 641/2010

The numbering of regulations has evolved over time. The various stages are:

from 1952 to 31 December 1962:
Regulation No 17
from 1 January 1963 to 31 December 1967 (the reference to the relevant treaty(ies) and the year are added to the number):
Regulation No 1009/67/EEC
from 1 January 1968 (the position of the treaty reference is changed):
Regulation (EEC) No 1470/68
Directives

For directives, the year is followed by the sequential number and the abbreviation:

Council Directive 2010/24/EU

From 1 January 1992 to 31 December 2014, these numbers were assigned by the General Secretariat of the Council following adoption.

Some older directives have an ordinal number in the title:

First Council Directive 73/239/EEC
Decisions

For decisions published under L I, the sequential number is followed by the year and the abbreviation:

Decision No 477/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council

Decisions adopted in accordance with a legislative procedure are assigned numbers from the same series as regulations (Decision No 477/2010/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Regulation (EU) No 478/2010, Commission Regulation (EU) No 479/2010, etc.).

For decisions published under L II, the year is followed by the sequential number and the abbreviation:

Council Decision 2010/294/EU
Budget

The definitive adoption of the general budget and of the amending budgets have a number that is present in the table of contents and on the title page (e.g. ‘2010/117/EU, Euratom’) but is not cited in references.

Double numbering

Certain acts may have two numbers:

the number assigned by the Publications Office, e.g. ‘(EU) 2015/299’, and
a number assigned by the author, e.g. ‘ECB/2015/5’, ‘ATALANTA/4/2015’, etc.

For European Central Bank acts and instruments, along with Political and Security Committee decisions, the number assigned by the author is placed in brackets at the end of the title:

Decision (EU) 2015/299 of the European Central Bank … (ECB/2015/5)
Political and Security Committee Decision (CFSP) 2015/711 … (ATALANTA/4/2015)

For certain acts, the number assigned by the Publications Office does not include a domain and is placed in square brackets at the end of the title. These include: decisions of the various councils and committees created by international agreements, acts relating to the European Economic Area (EEA) or to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE):

Decision No 1/2015 of the ACP-EU Committee of Ambassadors … [2015/1909]
Decision of the EEA Joint Committee No 159/2014 … [2015/94]
EFTA Surveillance Authority Decision No 226/17/COL … [2018/564]
Regulation No 78 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UNECE) … [2015/145]
Before 1 January 2015

Acts relating to the European Economic Area (EEA) or to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) only have a number assigned by the author.

Unnumbered acts and other texts

Some acts and other texts are not numbered, such as:

international agreements (see Section 1.2.3(b) ‘L II – Non-legislative acts’) attached to a decision;
information pertaining to the date of entry into force of an international agreement (this is the only information published in the L series);
corrigenda.
Last updated: 30.9.2019
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