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Bridging Qualified Majority and Unanimity Decisionmaking in the EU

Friday January 18, 2013, from 14:00 to 16:00
Room Fred Halliday - IBEI (1st Floor)
Research seminar
George Tsebelis (University of Michigan)

The EU has tried to bridge decisionmaking by qualified majority and unanimity over the years by expanding qualified majorities (consensus) or by making unanimities easier to achieve. I trace the history of this bridging from the Luxembourg compromise to the Lisbon Treaty, and to more recent agreements. I analyze the most recent and explicit mechanism of this bridging (article 31 (2) of the Lisbon Treaty) and identify one specific means by which the transformation of qualified majorities to unanimities is achieved: the reduction of precision or scope of the decision, so that different behaviors can be covered by it. I provide empirical evidence of this mechanism by analyzing legislative decisions. Finally, I argue that this bridging is a ubiquitous feature of EU institutions, used in Treaties as well as in legislative decisionmaking.


Seminar IBEI Tsebelis 

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