Designing the voting system for the Council of the European Union
Leech, Dennis (2001) Designing the voting system for the Council of the European Union. Working Paper. Coventry: University of Warwick, Department of Economics. Warwick economic research papers (No.587).
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This paper examines the system of Qualified Majority Voting, used by the Council of Ministers of the European Union, from the perspective of enlargement of the Union. It uses an approach based on power indices due to Penrose, Banzhaf and Coleman to make two analyses: (1) the question of the voting power of member countries from the point of view of fairness, and (2) the question of how the majority quota required for QMV should be determined. It studies two scenarios for change from 2005 onwards envisaged by the Nice Treaty: (1) no enlargement, the EU comprising 15 member countries, and (2) full enlargement to 27 members by the accession of all the present twelve candidates. The proposal is made that fair weights be determined algorithmically as a technical or routine matter as the membership changes. The analysis of how the quota affects power shows the trade-offs that countries face between their blocking power and the power of the Council to act. The main findings are: (1) that the weights laid down in the Nice Treaty are close to being fair, the only significant discrepancies being the under representation of Germany and Romania, and the over representation of Spain and Poland; (2) the majority quota required for a decision is set too high for the Council of Ministers to be an effective decision making body.
|Item Type:||Working or Discussion Paper (Working Paper)|
|Alternative Title:||Fair reweighting of the votes in the EU Council of Ministers and the choice of majority requirement for qualified majority voting during successive enlargements|
|Subjects:||J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Council of the European Union, Elections -- European Union countries, Voting research, Politics, Practical -- European Union countries|
|Series Name:||Warwick economic research papers|
|Publisher:||University of Warwick, Department of Economics|
|Place of Publication:||Coventry|
|Official Date:||August 2001|
|Number of Pages:||41|
|Status:||Not Peer Reviewed|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
Original version, April 2001; revised, August 2001
Baldwin, R.E., E.Berglof, F. Giavazzi and M. Widgren (2001), Nice Try: Should the Treaty of Nice be Ratified?, Monitoring European Integration 11. London: Centre for Economic Policy Research, June.
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