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Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics

  • Le Breton, Michel
  • Montero, Maria
  • Zaporozhets, Vera

We analyze and evaluate the di¤erent decision rules describing the Council of Ministers of the EU starting from 1958 up to now. Most of the existing studies use the Banzhaf index (for binary voting) or the Shapley-Shubik index (for distributive politics). We argue in favor of the nucleolus as a power measure in distributive situations and an alternative to the Shapley-Shubik index. We then calculate the nucleolus and compare the results of our calculations with the conventional measures. In the second part, we analyze the power of the European citizens as measured by the nucleolus under the egalitarian criterion proposed by Felsenthal and Machover (1998), and characterize the first best situation. Based on these results we propose a methodology for the de sign of the optimal (fair) decision rules. We perform the optimization exercise for the earlier stages of the EU within a restricted domain of voting rules, and conclude that Germany should receive more than the other three large countries under the optimal voting rule.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 716.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: Published in Mathematical Social Sciences, vol.�63, 2012, p.�159-173.
Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:25809
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  1. Bilbao, J. M. & Fernandez, J. R. & Jimenez, N. & Lopez, J. J., 2002. "Voting power in the European Union enlargement," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 181-196, November.
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  9. Maria Montero, 2007. "The Paradox of New Members in the Council of Ministers: A Noncooperative Approach," Discussion Papers 2007-12, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
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  12. Le Breton, Michel & Montero, Maria & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Voting Power in the EU Council of Ministers and Fair Decision Making in Distributive Politics," TSE Working Papers 12-301, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
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  26. Tasos Kalandrakis, 2004. "Proposal Rights and Political Power," Wallis Working Papers WP38, University of Rochester - Wallis Institute of Political Economy.
  27. Le Breton, Michel & Sudhölter, Peter & Zaporozhets, Vera, 2012. "Sequential Legislative Lobbying," IDEI Working Papers 714, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  28. Stefan Napel & Mika Widgrén, 2011. "Strategic versus non-strategic voting power in the EU Council of Ministers: the consultation procedure," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 511-541, September.
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