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Resisting Globalization: Voting Power Indices and the National Interest in the EU Decision-making

  • Elisabetta Croci Angelini

    (Università di Macerata)

The European integration process can be regarded as an aspect of the overall process of globalization and at the same time as an attempt to reconcile the move towards standardization with the defence of national diversity. A central role in the effort to exploit the benefits of integration without hampering the national nterest is the collective decision-making process in the EU shared by the Council and the Parliament, where national representatives struggle for the conquest of the ”lion’s share” in the division of the surplus stemming from the compromise on common policies. The paper focuses on the rationale behind the various Indices of Voting Power (Penrose, Banzhaf, Shapley and Shubik, Holler) which are the formal tools meant to understanding the coalition formation and assessing the probability of reaching an agreement. In the EU Council, although ministers tend to reach a broad consensus and explicit voting is rare, decision may be taken by qualified majority voting where countries are assigned weights reflecting their size. This practice has often been objected on the grounds that the potential emergence of permanent coalitions would prevent countries from being adequately represented, and eventually a different rule was proposed. The pros and cons of the newly proposed system are analysed through the computation of the Indices of Voting Power for the EU Council and Parliament.

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Paper provided by Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE) in its series Working Papers with number 08-2007.

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Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision: Feb 2009
Publication status: Published in “Globalization, Development and Integration A European Perspective†Della Posta P., Uvalic M., Verdun A. (eds.) Palgrave MacMillan 2009 pp.247-258
Handle: RePEc:mcr:wpaper:wpaper00008
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  1. Widgren, Mika, 1991. "Voting Power in the EC Decision Making and the Consequencesof two Different Enlargements," Discussion Papers 377, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1996. "Is the Allocation of Voting Power among the EU States Fair?," Discussion Papers 556, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  3. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1996. "Is the allocation of voting power among EU states fair?," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1996022, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  4. Putnam, Robert D., 1988. "Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(03), pages 427-460, June.
  5. Pierre Salmon, 2003. "The Assignment of Powers in an Open-ended European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 993, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Federico Valenciano & Annick Laruelle & Ricardo Martínez, 2004. "Success Versus Decisiveness: Conceptual Discussion And Case Study," Working Papers. Serie AD 2004-30, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
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