“Q-unanimity" and Decision-making in the EU after Lisbon

Friday October 05

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Fri Oct 05 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility


Prof. George Tsebelis
Department of Political Science University of Michigan

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Edith Klein


The Lisbon Treaty has included provisions trying to transform qualified majority decisions into unanimous ones. Indeed, it specifies: “If a member of the Council declares that, for vital and stated reasons of national policy, it intends to oppose the adoption of a decision to be taken by qualified majority, a vote shall not be taken. The High Representative will, in close consultation with the Member State involved, search for a solution acceptable to it.” (Art 31 (2) TEU).
I call this provision “q-unanimity”, trace its history and analyze its consequences on EU decisions. The history can be traced back to the Luxembourg compromise. The consequences are the preponderance of the institution that makes the “q-unanimity” proposal in the decisionmaking process, as well as the reduction of precision of decisions in order to enlarge their political support.