Lietuvos interesai naujojoje Europos Sąjungos institucinėje sąrangoje: mažoritarizmas ir konsensualizmas.
The article explores the issue of the qualified majority voting (QMV). It is the main decision-making reform in the new constitutional treaty. The author claims that the new definition of the QMV may result in a radical change of the decision-making culture of the EU. The latter has been for years dominated by the consensus, which is specific to consensual democracies. It is not surprising given a very segmented nature of the EU, which makes the European political system similar to such segmented political systems as the Netherlands or Switzerland. However, for the sake of efficiency, the new treaty defined qualified majority in terms which are characteristic to majoritarian democracies. In the context of the extension of the QMV to new areas, this can lead to decisions by simple majority leaving a large number of countries isolated. Therefore, there is a risk that decisions in a much more diverse EU could be taken by the decision-making rules characteristic to unitary states. The author argues that efficiency of decision-making in the enlarged EU could be achieved by alternative means. First, a greater emphasis could be given to new methods of regulation known as the method of open co-ordination. The method relies on the definition of common goals or benchmarks and on the monitoring of activities of member states in achieving those goals. Such looser instruments might better reflect growing diversity in the EU. Second option is closer co-operation, which seems inevitable in the bigger EU. While it is not desirable to have a multi-speed Europe, it is a better option than to force majority decisions on the Union with so many divergent interests. The article concludes that a bigger EU needs a better balance of available instruments to tackle increased diversity. Decision-making methods characteristic to majoritarian democracies can be used only in homogeneous societies. They could be a consequence of real convergence in the EU and not an instrument for achieving it. This confusion between the ends and means in the on-going constitutional debate should be corrected to avoid persistent problems of isolation and exclusion.
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