A silence procedure or tacit acceptance procedure is a way of formally adopting texts, often, but not exclusively in international political context. A draft version of the text is circulated among participants who have a last opportunity to propose changes or amendments to the text. If no amendments are proposed (if no one 'breaks the silence') before the deadline of the procedure, the text is considered adopted by all participants. Often this procedure is the last step in adopting the text, after the basic premises of the text have been agreed upon in previous negotiations. 'Breaking the silence' is only a last resort in case a participant still has fundamental problems with parts of the text and is therefore the exception rather than the rule.
Article 12(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Council of the European Union states:
On the initiative of the Presidency, the Council may act by means of a simplified written procedure called "silence procedure":
(a) for the purpose of adopting the text of a reply to a written question or, as appropriate, to an oral question submitted to the Council by a Member of the European Parliament, after the draft reply has been examined by Coreper;
(b) for the purpose of appointing Members of the European Economic and Social Committee and Members, and their alternates, of the Committee of the Regions, after the draft decision has been examined by Coreper;
(c) for the purpose of deciding to consult other institutions or bodies wherever such consultation is required by the Treaties;
(d) for the purpose of implementing the common foreign and security policy through the "COREU" network (COREU silence procedure).
e) In that case, the relevant text shall be deemed to be adopted at the end of the period laid down by the Presidency depending on the urgency of the matter, except where a member of the Council objects.