Calculus of Consent in the EU Council of Ministers

  • Hannu Nurmi
  • Tommi Meskanen
  • Antti Pajala


The a priori voting powers of the member countries in the council of ministers of the European Union have been discussed in the literature mainly from the view-point of Banzhaf and Shapley-Shubik indices. In this article we shall, in the spirit of the voter calculus outlined by Buchanan and Tullock in Calculus of Consent, use also other indices both to give a richer picture of the possibilities and limitations of the member states in this weighted voting body and to comparatively analyze the properties of various power measures. We shall also discuss the evolution of the power to act of the body as a whole, i.e. its decisionmaking capacity. Moreover, the fragmentation and concentration of the council are dealt with. Some implications of the — at the time of this writing hypothetical — enlargements are traced.


Decision Rule Power Index Vote Power Winning Coalition Minimal Winning Coalition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannu Nurmi
    • 1
  • Tommi Meskanen
    • 1
  • Antti Pajala
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland

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