Absolute majority of members

The European Parliament, Strasbourg, 5 May 2009 (Photo: www.kirkhope.org.uk)

Usually, the EU Parliament takes its decisions by a simple majority of those members taking part in a vote. In special cases, for example in co-decision, budget matters and to give its assent to the EU’s enlargement, it decides by an absolute majority. This is a majority of all its members, regardless of whether or not all are present.

After the enlargement of the EU with ten new member states 1 May 2004, the number of votes needed for an absolute majority is 367 out of 732 possible votes. 


If MEPs want to censure the Commission, a two-thirds majority of those voting, as well as an absolute majority of the members, is needed.