EU Jargon

Ioannina compromise

This is the name given to a deal struck in 1994 on the Greek island of Ioannina, which paved the way for Sweden, Finland and Austria to join the EU a year later. Under the terms of the deal, the minimum number of votes needed to block a decision being taken by EU governments in the Council of Ministers under Qualified Majority Voting was raised from 23 to 26. In order to make this change acceptable to Spain, a further clause was inserted into the agreement. This stated that any group of countries that could have come together to prevent a decision being taken before the “blocking minority” was raised could ask that no vote be taken on the issue in question. The compromise has never been used. The question of voting rights in the Council came to the fore again in the negotiations over the new reform treaty, as Poland threatened to derail negotiations by insisting the formula thrashed out at Ioannina be reviewed.

Additional Elements

Additional Elements