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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabetta Croci Angelini, 2007. "Resisting Globalization: Voting Power Indices and the National Interest in the EU Decision-making," Working Papers 08-2007, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Feb 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcr:wpaper:wpaper00008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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).
    2. Pierre Salmon, 2003. "The Assignment of Powers in an Open-ended European Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 993, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. 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.
    4. Laruelle, Annick & Widgren, Mika, 1998. "Is the Allocation of Voting Power among EU States Fair?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 94(3-4), pages 317-339, March.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elisabetta Croci Angelini, 2010. "Globalization and public administration: a complex relationship," Working Papers 28-2010, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Jul 2010.

    More about this item


    cooperative games; I-power; voting power; European integration; swing; P-power; Power indices;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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