Summary: The IGC 2000 had the objective to prepare the European Union for the enlargement. The aim of the present paper is to evaluate the Nice solution of the Council's decision-making rules from the perspective of the decision on the number of candidate countries which should join the EU in 2004, as proposed by the Brussels European Council in October 2002 and approved by the Copenhagen European Council in December 2002. The evaluation is based on the comparison of the Nice solution with all the relevant proposals, which were presented to the IGC 2000. The results bring an assessment of the voting power effect of both the Nice rules and the proposals. The reason for this comparison consists in the fact that these proposals represented the spectrum of approaches considered as plausible, during the last IGC and some of them much earlier. The 10 designated future EU members will be able to fully participate in the next IGC, where these proposals may be picked up again if the question of decision-making rules in the Council is reopened. The question of respective voting power consequences for the enlarged EU should be answered in this context. The evaluation of voting power consequences of individual solutions presented in this study leads to the conclusion that the distribution of voting power in the Council after the Unionu0092s enlargement to 25 members will be more even in terms of equitable representation of population of the member countries than most of other solutions proposed to the IGC. However, it is far from optimal as it disadvantages a group of smaller members to a greater degree than it disadvantages the most populous countries. Another conclusion is that the population criterion will not influence the voting power of member states after enlargement and would not be effective in any other dual weighted-majority solution.
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