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La réforme du Conseil de l'Union européenne à partir de la théorie des jeux

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  • Frédéric Bobay

Abstract

[fre] La réforme des droits de vote au Conseil de l'Union européenne prévue par le traité de Nice est analysée à partir de la théorie des jeux coopératifs, en utilisant l'indice de Banz-haf, lequel permet de mesurer les pouvoirs relatifs des Etats-membres. Il en ressort que les repondérations adoptées permettent un rééquilibrage effectif de ces pouvoirs, conformément à l'objectif de la CIG. Ainsi, l'influence des plus grands Etats- membres est-elle accrue dans une proportion qui compense nettement les effets des élargissements à de nombreux petits Etats dont le pouvoir est sur-représenté. Contrairement à l'intuition, l'ajout de deux nouveaux critères dans le système de prise de décision du Conseil, celui de la majorité simple des Etats et celui d'un seuil de population, est sans effet sur les pouvoirs respectifs des Etats- membres dans l'Europe élargie. On démontre que, dans l'UE-27, lorsque la majorité qualifiée au titre des droits de vote pondérés est réalisée, les deux autres critères sont déjà remplis dans presque la totalité des jeux de coalitions possibles, ce qui rend ces nouveaux critères inopérants. Enfin, la conceptualisation des négociations comme un jeu global entre tous les Etats au sein duquel s'est structuré un sous-jeu entre les seuls grands Etats- membres présente un fort pouvoir explicatif du contenu des accords de Nice. Il en ressort que la demande de l'Espagne d'une parité avec les quatre grands Etats et les démarches de l'Allemagne en vue d'une rupture de parité ont été des facteurs centraux des nouvelles dispositions et tout particulièrement du seuil élevé de majorité qualifiée et de l'ajout des deux nouveaux critères. Au total, compte tenu de l'ineffectivité de ces nouveaux critères dans l'UE élargie, le nouvel équilibre européen de Nice consiste principalement en l'émergence de l'Espagne et la Pologne comme deux États dont la capacité d'influence est très proche des quatre plus grands, lesquels restent entre eux essentiellement en parité. [eng] The new voting rights system of the EU Council embodied in the Nice Treaty is analyzed from a cooperative game theory approach using the Banzhaf index as a way to measure the member States' relative powers. The main finding is that, for an enlarged EU to 27 members, the new voting rights system provides a significant shift of power distribution among member States, as intended at the IGC. The scale of the increase of the influence of large member States fully compensates the effect of EU enlargement to many small States with collective over-sized power. Contrary to intuition, the addition of two new criteria in the decision-making system, a simple majority of member States and a population threshold, has no effect on the power distribution among member States in an enlarged EU. For EU-27, we show that when cumulated weighted votes reach qualified majority, the two other criteria are already respected in almost all cases, thus depriving them of any relevance. Finally, interpreting the IGC negotiations as a global game among all member States within which a sub- game is played only among the large States provides an effective explai- nation of the specifics of the Nice agreement. The main finding is that Spain's request to reach parity with the four large member States and Germany's undertakings to break parity with them have been the main driving force for the changes, especially, the higher qualified majority threshold and the addition of the two new voting criteria. Taking into account the lack of effectiveness of these new criteria, the overall new power balance resulting from the Nice Treaty is mainly characterized by the emergence of two States, Spain and Poland, with an influence very close to that of the four largest members, among which remains the prevailing parity.

Suggested Citation

  • Frédéric Bobay, 2001. "La réforme du Conseil de l'Union européenne à partir de la théorie des jeux," Revue Française d'Économie, Programme National Persée, vol. 16(2), pages 3-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:prs:rfreco:rfeco_0769-0479_2001_num_16_2_1507
    Note: DOI:10.3406/rfeco.2001.1507
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Widgren, Mika, 1994. "Voting power in the EC decision making and the consequences of two different enlargements," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 1153-1170, May.
    2. Hosli, Madeleine O., 1993. "Admission of European Free Trade Association states to the European Community: effects on voting power in the European Community Council of Ministers," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 47(04), pages 629-643, September.
    3. Dennis Leech, 2002. "An Empirical Comparison of the Performance of Classical Power Indices," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 50(1), pages 1-22, March.
    4. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2007. "What (Economic) Constitution does the EU need?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    2. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2006. "Country size and strategic aspects of structural reforms in the EU," Post-Print hal-00976439, HAL.
    3. Eloi Laurent & Jacques Le Cacheux, 2006. "Integrity and Efficiency in the EU: The Case against the European economic constitution," Sciences Po publications 130, Sciences Po.

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