Decision rules, social norms and the expression of disagreement: The case of qualified-majority voting in the Council of the European Union

  • Novak S
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Abstract

When a group has to make a decision, one can assume that the members' incentives to state their position vary according to the different decision rules. Decision-making in the Council of the European Union offers an opportunity to study how a decision rule influences the way members of a group state their position. Indeed, in several areas, decisions must be made by qualified-majority voting. But the combination of this rule and of social norms specific to the Council discourages the minority from expressing itself at different stages of decision-making. Decisions seem to be made without opposition at two main stages of the decision-making process: during the plenary sessions, representatives do not vote; according to the official Council records, a high proportion of measures are adopted without opposition.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Decision-making
  • European union council
  • Minority
  • Qualified-majority
  • Vote

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Authors

  • Stéphanie Novak

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