Reinforced qualified majority

The idea of a reinforced qualified majority stems from the conviction shared by several Member States that, if the unanimity requirement is maintained in an enlarged Union, it will all too often result in stalemate. Unanimity might therefore be replaced in certain cases by a reinforced qualified majority, larger than the 71% of the votes generally required for majority voting.


Qualified majority
Revision of the Treaties

Article 48 of the EU Treaty is the legal base which enables a conference of representatives of the Member States' governments (an Intergovernmental Conference - IGC) to be convened for the purpose of amending the Treaties. It stipulates that any Member State, or the Commission, may submit to the Council proposals for such amendments. If the Council, after consulting Parliament and the Commission, delivers an opinion in favour of calling a conference, it is convened by the President of the Council. Any subsequent amendments to the Treaties enter into force two months after being ratified by all the Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Intergovernmental Conference (IGC)
Right of initiative

The right of initiative:
· is a Commission monopoly in the case of Community matters, since the Council takes decisions only on a proposal from the Commission;
· is shared by the Member States and the Commission with regard to the areas covered by the common foreign and security policy and certain matters relating to justice and home affairs.
The Council and the European Parliament may also ask the Commission to put forward an initiative if they consider it necessary.

European Commission
Pillars of the European Union
Single institutional framework