Do votes matter? Voting weights and the success probability of member state requests in the Council of the European Union

Andreas Warntjen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
97 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The impact of votes on Council decision-making is a widely studied subject. A large body of theory supports the contention that more votes, ceteris paribus, translate into more influence. Empirical studies have, however, shown a negative relationship between the voting power of a member state and its bargaining success. Based on a new data set, this study shows empirically that there is a robust positive relationship between the number of votes backing a member state request to change European legislation and its success probability. The analysis is based on all unique member state requests for exemptions, lower standards or longer transitional time periods in the field of environmental policy between the first wave of Eastern Enlargement in 2004 and the entry into force of the Lisbon treaty in 2009 (N = 216). It also shows that member state requests are often successful, contrary to the image of an unresponsive Brussels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-687
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of European integration = Revue d'intégration Européenne
Volume39
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Blocking minority
  • Council of the European Union
  • Gridlock
  • Legislative decision-making
  • Member state interventions
  • Voting power

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