A simple majority is a majority of those voting.
An absolute majority requires the majority of the members of an organisation, not just of those choosing to vote. A qualified majority has a further requirement, for example, a two-thirds majority or 74% as in the Council (255 out of 345 votes).
- The European Parliament usually votes by simple majority, except for the important second vote in co-decision and part of the assent (now most called consent) and budgetary votes, where it decides by an absolute majority of its members.
- 2/3 of the votes is needed, which represents a majority of the Parliament's members, to censure the Commission.
- The Council of Ministers decides by an absolute majority of its members on issues where no other majority is mentioned in the treaties. 14 of the 27 Member States must therefore agree. But most often, the Council decides by qualified majority voting.
- The EU Commission always decides by an absolute majority of the Commissioners, which means at least 14 of its 27 members. Votes in the Commission are very rare. There have been no votes in the Barroso Commission.