Super-qualified majority

Super-qualified majority

The Lisbon treaty provides for that a super qualified majority is composed of 72% of the member states also comprising 65% of the EU-population.

The super qualified majority is used when the Council or the European Council is taking a decision not proposed by the Commission or the Foreign Minister, the "High Representative".

Until 2014 a normal qualified majority was composed of 260 of 352 votes in the Council of Ministers. This is 74% of the weighted votes from a majority of member states.

When a proposal does not come from the Commission 2/3 of the member states must agree - until 2014.

When the EU takes a decision on the basis of a proposal from the Commission or the High Representative a normal qualified majority will consist of 55% of the member states also representing 65% of the EU population.

The new voting system based on the exact size of the population is introduced 1 November 2014.

In the European Constitutional Convention, the EU Commission proposed that treaties and very important constitutional decisions might be amended by a new decision-making method located somewhere between qualified majority voting and unanimity.

They proposed that five-sixths of the member states should be able to approve a change. Member states that failed to approve such changes would then be excluded from membership.