The Council of Ministers

Role-play – the Council of Ministers

Council of Ministers
This committee could follow the legislative sequence and wait for the Parliament to consider the proposal. Or it could first meet to discuss the proposal as first drafted by the Commission and then meet a second time to discuss any amendment made by the Parliament.

In the Council of Ministers each role will be a cabinet minister or ambassador from a member state.

Note:   It may be unlikely that there are enough students in the class to form pairs for each of the 27 member states. In which case allocate a country to just one student or keep pairs but allocate a representative sample of large and small countries.

Attitudes of some member states        In deciding how to react to the proposal from the Commission, and of the amended proposal from the Parliament, see if you can work out from the general attitudes of the country you represent how they can be applied to either of the two proposals.

  • France:   tight regulation;  agriculture;  fishing;  motor car industry;   protection of industry.
  • Germany:   lighter regulation;  manufacturing industry;  environment;   protection of industry.
  • UK:   light regulation;  free market economy;  service industries.
  • Netherlands and Scandinavian countries:  environmental protection;  tight regulation.
  • Poland:   agriculture;  manufacturing industry;  not strong on the environment.

Qualified Majority Vote

Either of these draft laws would be voted on by Qualified Majority vote. This is likely to be an especially interesting part of the role play.  Each member state will need to know its number of votes and size of population so when the vote is taken the necessary calculations can be done.
  Click here     Click for a table of populations and votes


The options open to the Council of Ministers are:

  • To accept the proposal as unamended or amended by the Parliament.
  • Submit its own amendment to the proposal for further consideration by the Parliament.

The progress of the second option is outside the scope of this role play but could be developed for an all day event.

Place cards for eight countries