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Constitutional Design of the European Union: Getting Rid of the Unanimity Rule | Conversations for the Future of Europe – 2020 #5

Decision-making by means of qualified majority voting in the Council, rather than unanimity, is an essential means of maintaining the European Union’s capacity to act when the number of member states is as high as it is today. The Lisbon Treaty did indeed shift the voting rules for a number of policy areas, but today many decisions of the EU are still subject to unanimity. In 2018, the European Commission made two concrete proposals to change this, one to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting in selected areas of Common Foreign and Security Policy, followed by another one proposing a similar shift to QMV for selected issues of tax policy. I will argue that the time has come to do away with unanimous decision-making in all areas of EU policy and for all kinds of decisions, including for the revision of the EU Treaties themselves, if we want to preserve the Union’s capacity to act.


Lorenzo Cicchi (EUI – European Governance and Politics Programme)


Bruno de Witte (EUI – Law Department)


Philipp Genschel (EUI – Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies)

Deirdre Curtin (EUI – Department of Law)

Please note: the Conversation will take place via ZOOM. Participation is only possible upon registration. The link to the meeting will be sent only to registered participants.


Conversations for the Future of Europe

All events part of the Conversations on the Future for Europe series can be found here.

At this event

Andrea  Sangiovanni

Professor of Philosophy

Eleonora Milazzo

Research Associate

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