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Distribution of Votes

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Original Caption
"Proposal for weighting votes in the EU-Council"

Picture Analysis

This illustration stems from the daily paper "Die Presse" of 16 April 2004, a time therefore before the expansion of the EU to 25 member states (on 1 May 2004). The theme of the infographic as also of the article that goes with it is the distribution of votes in the Council of Europe after the expansion.

Under the title "Shift of Power after 1 May" the article outlines the new distribution of votes in the EU-Council and in the European Parliament, and comments on this. The bar diagram shows this distribution and illustrates how strongly each member state is represented in proportion to its own population density before and after the expansion of the European Union. The diagram outlines in a box in the lower left corner the proposals of the convention for the distribution of votes. This proposal was part of the EU-Constitution as of 2004 and therefore had no legal validity. Because of this, on 1 May 2004, the new vote-distribution went into effect according to the guidelines of the Treaty of Nice.

The article is a commentary on the graphics insofar as it points out the effects of this vote-distribution on political decision-making in large and small EU-states such as Austria.

Setting out percentages of votes in the form of bar diagrams and pie-diagrams is a favourite means of presentation and is also used in reporting on domestic affairs. This infographic does not display any graphic EU-symbols such as the flag or the colour blue since a logo including the EU-flag is shown in the article entitled: "Still 15 Days to the EU-expansion". The picture of the EU-flag serves here as a visual marker to make it clear at first glance that the topic is the EU.

The graphic was reproduced in slightly altered form in: Die Presse, 16 April 2004, p. 10 © APA-IMAGES/APA

Keywords: Expansion of the European Union, Expansion of the E.U. to the East, European integration, European Union, Political system

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