National, Political and Institutional Influence in European Union Decision Making
The distribution of decisional power among member states of the EU has remained a hot issue in recent discussions about the future design of European Union decision making and the Lisbon revision of the unsuccessful proposal of the Constitutional Treaty. Usually only the distribution of voting weights in the Council of Ministers under the qualified majority voting rule is taken into account. In contrast, in this paper we formulate simplified models of the consultation and co-decision procedures in the decision making of European Union institutions, reflecting the fact that together with the Council of Ministers the Commission and European Parliament are also important actors in EU decision making. The main conclusion of this paper is that the distribution of voting power in the Council of Ministers voting record provides incomplete evidence about national influences in European Union decision making. With rare exceptions decision making is based on the consultation and co-decision procedures involvi ng the Commission and/or European Parliament. Legislative procedures change the inter-institutional distribution of power (among the Council, Commission and European Parliament) reducing the power of the Council and at the same time they change intra-institutional power in the Council (the relative power of the Member States compared to the Council voting without taking into account the Commission and Parliament).
Volume (Year): 2 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (September)
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