The EU institutions I. EU-integration knowledges Written by Endre Domonkos 1st Semester, Academic Year 20 10 /201 1. I. The characteristics of EU-institutions I.
EU-integration knowledgesWritten by Endre Domonkos
1st Semester, Academic Year 2010/2011
-to liaise with Commission services,
- prepare decisions, ensure coordination among Commissioners (this is mainly done in the framework of
weekly meetings of heads of cabinet, where the next meeting of the College of Commissioners is prepared),
- support and organise public appearances by the relevant Commissioner,
- as well as maintain links with the Commissioner’s home country.
a) Preparation for and follow-up to the European Council, institutional and administrative questions,
horizontal dossiers which affect several of the Union’s policies and any dossier entrusted to it by the
b) the whole of the Union’s external actions, namely Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), European
Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), foreign trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid.
- General Affairs and External Relations;
- Economic and Financial Affairs (including the budget);
- Justice and Home Affairs;
- Employment Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs;
- Competitiveness (Internal market, Industry and Research, including tourism);
- Transport, Telecommunications and Energy;
- Agriculture and Fisheries;
- Education, Youth and Culture (including audiovisual affairs).
1. The central element of the new system was the re-weighting of votes. In order to underline the differences
in the size of population of the Member States, the former weights between 2 and 10 are extended into a
wider band between 3 and 29, but maintaining the favoured position of smaller countries. Accordingly, the
former system – in which out of the total 87 votes, 62 were required for the adoption of a decision - was also
modified. In the Union of 27 Member States, out of the total of 345 votes, 255 are required for a qualified
majority, thus the threshold of a blocking minority is set at 91 votes.
2. When an issue concerns Commission proposals or initiatives, the qualified majority must also represent
over half of the Member States. When the voting doesn’t relate to a Commission initiative, two-thirds of
the Member States must support the decision to be adopted. The adoption of a decision proposed by the
Commission in the present Union of 27 requires that at least 14 countries vote in favour of a Commission-
3. ‘Population filter’ was also introduced, which functions as - a security monitoring mechanism – a blocking
option. This entails the possibility for a Member of the Council request the verification that the qualified
majority represents at least 62 % of the total population of the Union. If this conditions is not met, the
decision won’t be adopted.