unanimity and qualified majority voting

A loss of sovereignty or more democracy?

As the EU has evolved an increasing number to policy areas are decided by QMV (Qualified Majority Voting) rather than unanimity, For a vote to pass under QMV, it requires 55 per cent of member-states representing at least 65 per cent of the total EU population to be in favour of a proposal in the Council. This process is designed to prevent policies being block by a minority of nation since unanimity gives every nation a veto. This made decision making extremely slow. However increasing use of QMV was seen as another example of the creeping power of the EU since nations could have regulations and directives imposed on them.QMV does have implications for national sovereignty, because it means individual governments can’t veto proposals they disagree with.

The Lisbon Treaty meant individual States’ powers of veto were removed in some of the 43 areas, where unanimous agreement has been replaced with agreement by a qualified majority (QMV). This means governments had to work harder to form coalitions, find allies and negotiate compromises.