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Qualified Majority Voting: a Joint but Failed Search for Efficiency Building

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the 2000 Intergovernmental Conference with a specific focus on the Council of Ministers and the IGC's dossier on the Council's modes for decision-making. It argues that the Nice IGC's outcome reflects a trend among Member States who already during the Maastricht reforms started to base their proposals on a non-agreed type measure. The Intergovernmental Conference of 2000 focused almost exclusively on amending the institutional and procedural basics of the European Union in order to prepare it for enlargement by up to 12 new states. It dealt with three related issues, known as the Amsterdam 'leftovers' because the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 had failed to solved them. These were (1) the increased use of Qualified Majority Voting (QMV) in the Council, (2) the reweighting of votes in the Council, and (3) the size and composition of the Commission.

Keywords: European Union; intergovernmental conference (IGC) 2000; Maastricht reform; Nice treaty; qualified majority voting (QMV); reweighting of vote; treaty of Amsterdam



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