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Who has the power in the EU?

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  • Barr, Jason
  • Passarelli, Francesco

Abstract

The European countries are in the process of reforming the EU's institutions. If ratified, the Lisbon Treaty will have strong implications for the balance of power among member states. Building on the work of Shapley [Shapley, L.S., 1977, A Comparison of Power Indices and a Nonsymmetric Generalization. Paper P-5872. The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica] and Owen [Owen, G., 1972, Political games. Naval Research Logistics Quarterly, 18, 345-354], we present a measure of power that is based on players' preferences and number of votes. We apply this measure to the Council of Ministers to see who wields power now and who is likely to wield power with the future voting scheme. Further, we show how a country's power can change, based on the preferences of the agenda setter which, in this case, is the European Commission.

Suggested Citation

  • Barr, Jason & Passarelli, Francesco, 2009. "Who has the power in the EU?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 339-366, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:matsoc:v:57:y:2009:i:3:p:339-366
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    Cited by:

    1. Le Breton, Michel & Montero, Maria & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Voting power in the EU council of ministers and fair decision making in distributive politics," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 159-173.
    2. Gehring, Kai & Schneider, Stephan A., 2015. "Towards the Greater Good? EU Commissioners’ Nationality and Budget Allocation in the European Union," Working Papers 0596, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    3. Di Giannatale, Paolo & Passarelli, Francesco, 2013. "Voting chances instead of voting weights," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 164-173.
    4. Fuad Aleskerov, 2008. "Power distribution in the electoral body with an application to the Russian Parliament," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 11-2008, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    5. Sébastien Courtin, 2011. "Power in the European Union: an evaluation according to a priori relations between states," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(1), pages 534-545.
    6. Stefano Benati & Giuseppe Vittucci Marzetti, 2013. "Probabilistic spatial power indexes," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 40(2), pages 391-410, February.
    7. Laslier, Jean-François, 2012. "Why not proportional?," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 90-93.
    8. Stefan Napel & Mika Widgrén, 2006. "The Inter-Institutional Distribution of Power in EU Codecision," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 27(1), pages 129-154, August.
    9. Francesco Passarelli & Jason Barr, 2007. "Preferences, the Agenda Setter, and the Distribution of Power in the EU," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 28(1), pages 41-60, January.
    10. Jenny Helstroffer & Marie Obidzinski, 2014. "Codecision procedure biais: the European legislation game," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 29-46, August.
    11. Diego Varela & Javier Prado-Dominguez, 2012. "Negotiating the Lisbon Treaty: Redistribution, Efficiency and Power Indices," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 6(2), pages 107-124, July.
    12. Yukio Koriyama & Jean-François Laslier & Antonin Macé & Rafael Treibich, 2013. "Optimal Apportionment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(3), pages 584-608.
    13. repec:spr:grdene:v:24:y:2015:i:4:d:10.1007_s10726-014-9408-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Meyer, Eric, 2013. "Die Macht der Mitgliedstaaten im Ministerrat der EU und im Ministerrat für Fragen der Währungsunion nach dem Vertrag von Lissabon," Beiträge zur angewandten Wirtschaftsforschung 36, University of Münster, Center of Applied Economic Research Münster (CAWM).
    15. repec:eee:matsoc:v:89:y:2017:i:c:p:10-19 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Kóczy, László Á., 2012. "Beyond Lisbon: Demographic trends and voting power in the European Union Council of Ministers," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 152-158.
    17. Fritz Breuss, 2013. "The Leverage of the Small Ones in the EU," WIFO Working Papers 452, WIFO.
    18. Changxia Ke & Florian Morath & Anthony Newell & Lionel Page, 2016. "Too big to prevail: Coalition formations in the presence of a superpower," QuBE Working Papers 044, QUT Business School.
    19. A. Palestini & G. Pignataro, 2013. "A multi-factor inequality approach to a transfer scheme: the case of Common Agricultural Policy," Working Papers wp891, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Power indices European union Principal components;

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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