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Legislative consolidation means combining in a single text the provisions of a basic instrument and all subsequent amendments. There is no amendment of the content or form of the existing material. Consolidation corresponds to a purely declaratory, unofficial simplification of the legislation.
Incorporating the amendments into the basic instrument does not entail adopting a new instrument. This is a purely clarification-oriented exercise.

Consolidation serves the interests of citizens, administrative authorities and the business world by providing a more accessible and more transparent legislative framework and has the advantage of making the law more reader-friendly. But consolidation, unlike codification, does not generate a new mandatory legal instrument.

The exercise of consolidating the accumulated body of Community legislation and releasing it on the EUR-Lex site began in 1996, under the responsibility of the Publications Office of the European Union. It is now planned that new legislative instruments will be consolidated as soon as an amendment is published in the Official Journal.

An example is the Council Directive of 15 July 1975 on waste, which has been amended several times and was consolidated on 20 November 2003, this consolidation then being used as a basis for the codified instrument.

Further information on consolidation :


Last updated on 19.6.2013

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