Select Committee on European Communities Third Report


APPENDIX 2 (Continued)

  1995 REPORT RECOMMENDATION


Qualified majority voting

The formula for the calculation of a qualified majority in the Council will inevitably be a central question in the Conference. We agree that a better balance between voting strength and population is required for the democratic credibility of the Union and to prevent unjustifiable blockages of legislation...... A system of double majorities-of Council votes and of population-was favoured by many of our witnesses, and we believe that some form of double majority or "dual key" would be the best way of ensuring that decisions are not adopted against the wishes of the representatives of a large proportion of the citizens of the Member States.(243)


OUTCOME OF THE TREATY


Qualified majority voting

The conference did not reach a decision on the question of reweighting council votes. However, this subject is highlighted in the Protocol on the institutions with the prospect of enlargement of the European Union (see page 25 below). In that protocol the question of reweighting Council votes is linked to the question of the size of the Commission which is in turn linked to the date of the first enlargement of the Union.


  1995 REPORT RECOMMENDATION


Qualified majority voting

...We think that the onus is on those who want further extension of QMV beyond that agreed in the Treaty on European Union to show its advantage. There should be a more systematic attempt to agree and apply principles in order to determine which Council decisions are suited to or require qualified majority voting... If qualified majority voting is extended to certain new areas, we are clear that it should on no account be made possible on issues which are at the heart of national sovereignty such as taxation, foreign policy and defence.(244)


OUTCOME OF THE TREATY


Qualified majority voting

The draft Treaty proposes, in Chapter 15, a list of new and existing Treaty provisions which will be subject to qualified majority voting. They are:

New Treaty provisions


Article 4, new Title on Employment - Employment guidelines
Article 5, new Title on Employment - Incentive measures
Article 118(2) - Social exclusion
Article 119(3) - Equality of opportunity and treatment of men and women
Article 129(4) - Public health
Article 191a - Transparency
Article 209a - Countering fraud
Article 213a - Statistics
Article 213b - Establishment of independent advisory authority on data protection
Article 227(2) - Outermost regions
New Article - Customs co-operation

Existing Treaty provisions

Article 45(3) - Compensatory aid for imports of raw materials
Article 56(2) - Co-ordination of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action for special treatment for foreign nationals (right of establishment)
Article 130i(1) - Adoption of the research framework programme
Article 130i(2) - Adapting or supplementing the research framework programme
Article 130o - Setting up of joint undertakings in R&T development


 
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