INTRODUCTION AUX AFFAIRES EUROPEENNE
PM BRIEFING KOVACEVIC, Katarina
To the Hungarian PM in 2007: Polish proposal on the voting rights in the Council: how should Hungary react?
Dear Mr. Gyurcsány,
The belated insistence of Poland to reopen the issue of voting weights in the Council is becoming one of the prime obstacles in achieving an agreement on how ...view middle of the document...
Any formula that gives more (relative) weight to smaller member countries like Hungary is thus likely to affect Poland in a similar way as the other large member countries.
Perhaps the Polish government is not so much concerned about its voting weight in general, but more likely in its weight in relation to the largest member states. In particular, the Polish government might assume that it is more likely to find itself in a coalition with us and other smaller member states. However, the reality is somewhere between, since the four countries that were closest in their voting pattern to Poland are Germany, Belgium, Greece and Italy, or in other words two large and two small countries, what makes difficult to understand the insistence of the Polish government on the square root approach.
The Question in Details
Let's concentrate on the general question: Would the square root approach actually make a difference? In how many cases would a blocking minority under the Constitution not constitute a blocking minority under the square root formula? There are two alternatives.
First, let's suppose that voting is random, and take all possible coalitions that might represent a qualified majority under the Constitution’s rules and check whether or not they would still represent a qualified majority under the square root formula. The math shows that a distinction is less than 10% of all cases. Since only about 13% of all possible combinations would yield a qualified majority, this implies that the square root formula would make a difference in about 1.1% to 1.3% of all cases (among all random legislative proposals).