The Romanian think tank European Institute for Participative Democracy (Qvorum) has published an influence ranking of the new European Parliament (EP) allocating points for key positions such as group leaders, committee chairmen, heads of delegations, …
The researchers’ conclusion: Germany is over-represented in those key positions.
The problem I have with this study is not the result but the methodology. Why is the basis for this calculation of influence fairness in the European Parliament Qualified Majority Voting (QMV)? QMV is the voting mechanism in the Council of the European Union and heavily tilted in favour of smaller countries.
Such a tilted system cannot be a legitimate basis for the allocation of posts in a democratically elected parliament if the principle of voter equality (every vote counts as much as any other) is to be maintained.
The table below brings together the results of the study in columns one and two and some more data giving you a different impression in columns three and four:
I won’t go into the question of how the points were allocated in the first place but assume that this was based on a sound method.
If you calculate this you get a completely different result. Germany scores 1.48 points per seat, France 1.65, Italy 1.57 and the UK 1.33.
There is still the case to be made that the UK is under-represented compared to the other large countries but the case against the over-representation of Germany breaks down completely.
But maybe I am wrong. Maybe somebody can explain to me why the QMV wheighting is a better basis for his kind of measure than the population and seat proportions?