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Bridging Qualified Majority and Unanimity Decision-Making in the EU

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Tsebelis, George

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Corporate Editor Institut für Höhere Studien (IHS), Wien
Abstract The EU has tried to bridge decision making by qualified majority and unanimity over the years by expanding qualified majorities (consensus) or by making unanimities easier to achieve. I call this decision-making procedure q-“unanimity” and trace its history from the Luxembourg compromise to the Lisbon Treaty, and to more recent agreements. I analyze the most recent and explicit mechanism of this bridging (article 31 (2) of the Lisbon Treaty) and identify one specific means by which the transformation of qualified majorities to unanimities is achieved: the reduction of precision or scope of the decision, so that different behaviors can be covered by it. I provide empirical evidence of such a mechanism by analyzing legislative decisions. Finally, I argue that this bridging is a ubiquitous feature of EU institutions, used in Treaties as well as in legislative decision-making.
Keywords Lisbon Treaty; EU; political decision; decision making; European institution; foreign policy; European Policy; majority rule; nation state; decision making process
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Document language English
Publication Year 2013
City Wien
Page/Pages 42 p.
Series Reihe Politikwissenschaft / Institut für Höhere Studien, Abt. Politikwissenschaft, 132
ISSN 1605-8003
Status Published Version
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications