c) The new voting system in the Council of Ministers
The standard system of voting in the Council of Ministers will be “Qualified majority voting” (QMV). It will be based on the principle of the double majority. Decisions in the Council of Ministers will need the support of 55% of Member States (currently 15 out of 27 EU countries) representing a minimum of 65% of the EU's population. To make it impossible for a very small number of the most populous Member States to prevent a decision from being adopted, a blocking minority must comprise at least four Member States; otherwise, the qualified majority will be deemed to have been reached even if the population criterion is not met.
The European Council agreed that the new system will take effect in 2014. In the first three years, until 2017, a Member State may request that an act be adopted in accordance with the qualified majority as defined in the current Treaty of Nice.
THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE, TRANSPARENCY AND HUMAN RIGHTS