Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law


Do We Like Majority Decisions?

Aspects of the Majority Principle in Voting on the Different Levels of Political Systems

Keywords majority principle, qualified majority, voting in parliament, constitution, abstentions
Authors Péter Smuk
Author's information

Péter Smuk
Péter Smuk: professor of law, Széchenyi István University, Győr.
  • Abstract

      This article aims to review the constitutional justifications for majority requirements arising from the democratic principle, and to analyze some current controversial cases. Although the qualified majority requirement is not a new institution in either the national constitutional systems or the functioning of the EU institutions, the democratic legitimacy of majority voting faces several challenges. In order to present aspects that should be re-evaluated in the light of certain new political strategies, this paper analyses the majoritarian requirements in the Treaties, in the rules of procedures of the European Parliament and also case studies pertaining to the constitution-making majority in Hungary and the controversial case of voting on the Sargentini-report. On the basis of this assessment, we may confirm but also reconsider the majority principle.

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