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THE IMPACT OF BREXIT ON THE MEMBER STATES VOTING POWER IN THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN

Marcin Kleinowski, Prof Jacek Czaputowicz, University of Warsaw

The Treaty of Lisbon introduced a new system of weighting votes in the Council, which radically departs from the principles based on which the distribution of votes between the Member States of the EU was made for more than half a century. One of the main arguments for the introduction under the Lisbon Treaty of the so-called double majority system of weighting votes in the Council was the relative ease of its adaptation in the event of accession of new Member States. From the beginning, however, it gave rise to doubts whether the accession of Turkey to the EU, as a state with a large population, could occur without a substantial modification of the system. The possibility of leaving the EU by one of its largest Member States was not taken into account, either.The paper analyses the potential impact of Brexit on the voting power of Member States in the EU Council, in the case of adopting decisions by the qualified majority of votes. The leading hypothesis of the paper assumes that the fact of leaving the European Union by Great Britain and the new method of determining the population of EU Member States for the purposes of making decisions in the EU Council leads to another transfer of formal voting power to the benefit of countries with the largest populations. The aim of the paper is also to determine if the voting rules in the Council of the European Union may be recognized as democratic and just ? In order to answer this question the current voting system of double majority will be compared with the so called square root system.



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