- EU Commission (Photo: www1.american.edu/dlublin/travel/brussels1.html)
The EU Commission, the European Parliament and the Council can develop semi-constitutional law by reaching a common agreement, rather than by amending existing treaties. These so-called "inter-institutional" agreements are binding for the contracting institutions.
The Lisbon Treaty now provides the legal basis for new binding institutional agreements - see Art. 295 TFEU.
- Powers to control the EU budget have been developed for the European Parliament in this way.
- The Treaty of Nice only allowed inter-institutional agreements when all three institutions took part. The Council insisted on this following an agreement between the EU Commission and the Parliament on access to certain classified documents on which the Council did not agree. The Lisbon Treaty also requires a common accord between the three institutions to allow such agreements.