2.2. Preamble (citations and recitals)
Preamble means everything between the title and the enacting terms of the act.
Citations indicate, in the following order:
the legal basis
for the act:
primary acts (treaties, acts of accession, protocols annexed to the Treaties) and international agreements (agreements, protocols, conventions) that constitute the general basis for the text in question.
Having regard to the Treaty on European Union [and in particular
Article/Articles … thereof],
Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning
of the European Union [and in particular Article/Articles … thereof],
regard to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community [and in
particular Article/Articles … thereof],
Having regard to the Act of Accession
of Austria, Finland and Sweden,
The abbreviation of the Treaty/Treaties is not mentioned.
If more than one treaty is referred to, they should be cited on separate lines in the following order: the Treaty on European Union, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community.
Primary acts are cited without a footnote reference. International agreements and protocols to international agreements may be cited in their short form with a footnote reference.
where applicable, secondary acts that constitute the specific basis for the text. The full title of such acts is followed by a reference to the Official Journal in which they were published:
Having regard to Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products (1),
and in particular Article 10 thereof,
the preparatory acts
(e.g. proposals, initiatives, requests, recommendations, approvals or opinions provided for in the Treaties), possibly followed by a footnote reference:
Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,
Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament (1),
Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2),
In cases where the Treaty requires that an institution or body be consulted, and the consultation results in an opinion, the corresponding citation contains the words ‘Having regard to the opinion of …’, followed by a footnote comprising the Official Journal reference or, failing this, the wording ‘Opinion of [date] (not yet published in the Official Journal).’
In cases where the Treaty requires that an institution or body be consulted, but the consultation does not result in an opinion, the corresponding citation reads as follows: ‘After consulting …’ (without a footnote reference and without any other precision).
in legislative acts:
the transmission of the draft legislative act to national parliaments:
After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,
the procedure followed:
the ordinary legislative procedure:
Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (3),
the ordinary legislative procedure, with the Conciliation Committee:
Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure, in the light of the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee on 24 January 2011 (2),
a special legislative procedure:
Acting in accordance with a special legislative procedure,
Citations start with a capital letter and end with a comma.
Recitals set out the reasons for the contents of the enacting terms (i.e. the articles) of an act.
Recitals are introduced by the word ‘Whereas:’. They are numbered and each sentence in each recital starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop, except the last sentence of the concluding recital, which ends with a comma.
Recitals are presented as follows:
Regulation (EC) No 763/2008 establishes common rules for the decennial provision of comprehensive data on population and housing.
In order to assess the quality of the data transmitted to the Commission (Eurostat) by the Member States, it is necessary to define the modalities and structure of the quality reports.
The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the European Statistical System Committee,
In the text, recitals are cited as follows (figures without brackets):
recital 1, recital 2, etc.
Where there is only one recital, there is no indentation or numbering. ‘Whereas:’ is on a line of its own. The recital ends with a comma:
Regulation (EC) No 1580/2007 lays down, pursuant to the outcome of the Uruguay Round multilateral trade negotiations, the criteria whereby the Commission fixes the standard values for imports from third countries, in respect of the products and periods stipulated in Annex XV, Part A thereto,
Until 6 February 2000, recitals began with a capital letter and ended with a semicolon (this method of laying out recitals is still used in certain Council acts):
Whereas the Commission …; (for the first and subsequent recitals)
Whereas the opinion …, (for the concluding recital)
As these recitals were not numbered, they were referred to as the first, second
and third recital, etc.
In some texts (in particular those concerning anti-dumping),
the recitals were introduced by the formula ‘Whereas:’, the recitals were numbered
and every recital had a capital letter at the beginning and a full stop at the
end (which has become the general practice.)
There was a transitional period between
December 1998 and 6 February 2000 when both ways of structuring the recitals
In European Parliament resolutions on discharge in respect of the implementation of the budget, published in the L series, citations are preceded by a dash and, instead of being numbered, recitals are lettered:
having regard to the final annual accounts of the European Police College for the financial year 2008,
having regard to the Court of Auditors' report on the annual accounts of the European Police College for the financial year 2008, together with the College's replies,
having regard to the Council's recommendation …,
whereas the College …,
whereas the Court of Auditors in its report on the annual accounts of the College …,