How to be a Civil Servant
This note contains brief details of the latest position on each of these subjects.
Current and future Presidencies of the Council of Ministers are as follows:-
Until 31 October 2014 a qualified majority is reached if 255 (out of 345) votes are cast in favour AND a majority of member states approve.
If member states are not voting on a Commission proposal then the requirement of a majority in the above paragraph is replaced by two-thirds of the Council.
In addition, a Member State may ask for confirmation that the votes in favour represent at least 62% of the total population of the Union. If this is found not to be the case, the decision will not be adopted.
When counting votes, the 27 member states will have the following votes:
A qualified majority will, from 1 November 2014, be 55% of member states comprising at least 65% of the population of the EU. (If member states are not voting on a proposal emanating from the Commission then the figure of 55% in the previous paragraph is replaced by 72%. The 65% figure stays the same.)
An abstention from a vote will therefore have the effect of a vote against the proposal, except that at least 4 members must vote against a proposal or else the vote will be carried, however many members abstain.
There will be a transitional provision (to please the Poles) which will allow any member state to require the old (pre-November 2014) QMV provsions to apply. This transitional provision runs out on 31 March 2017.
The following 15 EU member states are in the EMU and have adopted the single currency (the Euro):-
The following 12 member states are not in the EMU and retain their own currencies:-
28 countries (the EU 27 less Ireland and the UK, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) have signed the Schengen agreement. All these countries (except Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania) have implemented the agreement.
Click here for further information about the Schengen Area.
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