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Did you know that "small" EU countries, both in geographical size and population, can indeed affect decision-making in the EU?

It is often said that "small" countries should accept the decisions and authority of the "big" countries in the EU. However, in the Council, which represents national interests in the European Union, each country affects the final decision on European regulations.  According to the Lisbon Tteaty voting rules applicable as of 2014, a double majority will be necessary for the Council to take a decision. This majority will be calculated according to two criteria:

  • State -   55% of EU States, ie. in the present EU of 27, 15 Member States, the weight of Germany being the same as the weight of Malta and,
  • Population – 65% of the EU's population.

The double majority system is more democratic and also more effective, since it facilitates the creation of majorities and therefore decision can be taken – a vital detail in a Union with 27 Member States or more.

A number of policies judged to be sensitive shall remain subject to unanimity voting, specifically taxation, social security or social protection, the accession of new States to the European Union, foreign and common defence policy and operational police cooperation. In this areas, the agreement of all Member States, small- medium- or large-sized, is required before a propsoal can be adopted.