Voting in the Council of the European Union (2012:2)


The Council of the European Union is certainly the most powerful institution of the European Union, as a major Community legislator – alone or with the European Parliament – and as an executive body. Still, there is only limited knowledge of the Council’s decision-making and how the Council reaches an agreement.

In this report, the author explains the Member States’ voting behaviour. The report is based on a robust collection of data stretching over a period from 1995 to 2010, together with qualitative material from interviews with practitioners in the Council Secretariat and the Member States’ permanent representations.

The report is published in the context of SIEPS research programme The political system of the European Union.

Wim Van Aken is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Economics Department of the HEC University of Liège and visiting scholar at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Antwerp.