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Encyclopedia > Qualified Majority Voting
Voting weights since November 1st 2004:
Country Votes Pop.
(mill.)

Germany 29 82.0
UK 29 59.4
France 29 59.1
Italy 29 57.7
Spain 27 39.4
Poland 27 38.6
Netherlands 13 15.8
Greece 12 10.6
Czech R. 12 10.3
Belgium 12 10.2
Hungary 12 10.0
Portugal 12 9.9
Sweden 10 8.9
Austria 10 8.1
Slovakia 7 5.4
Denmark 7 5.3
Finland 7 5.2
Lithuania 7 3.7
Ireland 7 3.7
Latvia 4 2.4
Slovenia 4 2.0
Estonia 4 1.4
Cyprus 4 0.8
Luxembourg 4 0.4
Malta 3 0.4
Total votes 321
Qualified majority 232
Blocking votes 90

Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) is a voting procedure employed in the Council of the European Union for some decisions. According to the procedure, each member state has a fixed number of votes. The number allocated to each country is roughly determined by its population, but progressively weighted in favour of smaller countries. National motto: Truth prevails (Czech: Pravda vítÄ›zí) Official language Czech Capital Praha (Prague) President Václav Klaus Prime Minister Jiří Paroubek Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 114th 78,866 km² 2% Population  - Total (2003)  - Density Ranked 76th 10. ... The Council of the European Union forms, along with the European Parliament, the legislative arm of the European Union (EU). ...


To pass a vote by QMV, all three of the following conditions must apply:

  • the proposal must be supported by 232 out of the total of 321 votes (72.27%);
  • the proposal must be backed by a majority of member states;
  • the countries supporting the proposal must represent at least 62% of the total EU population.

If the new Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe comes into force, the conditions for passing a vote will be simplified. In this case, a QMV decision will require a 'double majority' of 55% of member states representing 65% of citizens. In addition, a blocking minority must consist of at least 4 Member States. Under the new rules, it will be more difficult for a minority of countries to block a decision. The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, commonly referred to as the European Constitution, is an international treaty signed in 2004 and currently awaiting ratification, intended to create a constitution for the European Union. ... Double majority is used in the United States for some votes on issues such as a tax levy or bond. ...


Use of QMV vs unanimity

At present, QMV is used to pass many decisions, while others require unanimity among all Council members. Under the proposed Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe, which has to be ratified by all member states before it can enter into force, decisions in about 20 more policy areas will be taken using QMV, leaving only key sensitive issues to be decided unanimously (including tax, social policy, defence, foreign policy and treaty revision). The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, commonly referred to as the European Constitution, is an international treaty signed in 2004 and currently awaiting ratification, intended to create a constitution for the European Union. ...


Supporters argue that this change will be necessary in order to streamline decision-making and prevent gridlock in a newly enlarged European Union. Some commentators have seen the change as a loss of sovereignty from individual member states, since it effectively abolishes the national veto in many areas.


See also

Politics is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action: the conduct of decision-making for groups. ... The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, commonly referred to as the European Constitution, is an international treaty signed in 2004 and currently awaiting ratification, intended to create a constitution for the European Union. ... The Enlargement of the European Union is the growth in size of the European Union, from the six founding member states in 1952, to the 25 current member states. ... A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority in order to have effect. ... For the Finno-Ugric people, see Votes. ...

External links

  • euireland.ie: Enlargement and institutional changes(voting schemes)
  • orgalime: 3-fold table of voting weights(past, now and at starting from November 1 2004) (dead-link)
  • drcwww.kub.nl: Introduction with details and links
  • SCADplus Glossar: Qualified majority
  • BBC: Background on the voting weights discussion
  • Analyis and history of voting weights in the Council ([1])
  • Article at EUABC

  Results from FactBites:
 
Apache Voting Process - The Apache Software Foundation (992 words)
Votes should generally be permitted to run for at least 72 hours to provide an opportunity for all concerned persons to participate regardless of their geographic locations.
For code-modification votes, +1 votes are in favour of the proposal, but -1 votes are vetos and kill the proposal dead until all vetoers withdraw their -1 votes.
Votes on whether a package is ready to be released follow a format similar to majority approval -- except that the decision is officially determined solely by whether at least three +1 votes were registered.
Qualified Majority Voting (271 words)
Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) is a voting procedure employed in the Council of the European Union for some decisions, under which each member state has a fixed number of votes.
When the new Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe comes into force, blocking decisions will be much harder: Under this new rule, a QMV decision will require a 'double majority' of only 55% of member states representing 65% of citizens.
At present, QMV is used to pass many decisions, while others require unanimity among all Council members.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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