The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/savoir_ue/glossaire/glossaire_j/
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Joint action refers to coordinated action by the Member States to provide the necessary resources to achieve specific objectives adopted by the Council of Ministers on the basis of general policy guidelines from the European Council. The Single European Act referred to “the implementation of joint action". The Maastricht Treaty went further and gave this instrument legal status. Joint action commits the Member States on the positions they adopt and the way they pursue their policy and enables essentially financial resources to be deployed in order to support a diplomatic initiative at European level. Joint action may refer to geographical issues (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Great Lakes Region, Middle East, etc.) or thematic issues (anti-personnel mines, nuclear non-proliferation, etc.).
A legal instrument under the former Title VI of the EU Treaty, joint action was used between 1993 and 1999. It meant coordinated action by the Member States carried out on behalf of the Union or within the EU framework in cases where, owing to the scale or effects of the envisaged action, the Union’s objectives could be attained more effectively by joint action than by Member States acting individually. It was eliminated by the Treaty of Amsterdam and replaced by “decisions" and “framework decisions".