Král, David and Brinar, Irena and Almer, Josefin. (2003) The Position of Small Countries towards Institutional Reform: From tyranny of the small to directoire of the big? EPIN Working Paper No. 6, November 2003. [Working Paper]
Looking at the arithmetic, in May 2004 there will only be six large member states among 25. These six large states will, however, account for roughly three-quarters of Union’s population. This is a different situation from the original European Communities for which the institutions were designed. The Convention, despite progress, faced unprecedented divisions over the balance of power as proposed in the draft Constitutional Treaty, provoking a split between large and small members. This paper tries to explore the stances taken by the small countries of the Union on issues that seem to be overwhelmingly fundamental to them – the question of the Council presidency and the question of the size, composition and legitimacy of the Commission. It concludes that the smaller countries have greater gains to make by coordinating their positions where their interests converge, so that the current 'tyranny of the Small' can avoid becoming a 'directoire of the Big'.
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