A simple majority is a majority of those voting.
An absolute majority requires the majority of the members in an organisation, not just of those choosing to vote. A qualified majority requires more, for example, a two-thirds majority or 71.26% as in the Council (62 out of 87 votes).
- The EU Parliament usually votes by simple majority, except for the important second vote in co-decision and part of the assent and budgetary votes, where it decides by an absolute majority of its members.
- A qualified two-third majority is needed to censure the Commission.
- The Council of Ministers decides by an absolute majority of its members on issues where no other majority is mentioned in the treaties. Eight of the 15 Member States must therefore agree. But most often, the Council decides by qualified majority voting.
- The EU Commission always decides by an absolute majority of the Commissioners, which means at least 11 of its 20 members (prior to enlargement).