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Pukelsheim, Friedrich


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Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 20/06/2007

In favour of the square root system

Friedrich Pukelsheim, a mathematician in Augsburg, Germany, explains why he thinks the square root formula proposed by Poland for the EU's Council of Ministers is the better voting system. According to him the so-called "Jagiellonian compromise" would be more transparent because the number of votes for each member state wouldn't have to be negotiated in all-night haggling marathons but could be determined with "amazing easiness" simply by calculating the square root of the individual member states' total population figures: "With the Jagiellonian compromise power and votes run parallel. This is why you would only have to divide the voting weight, which according to this construction coincides with the square root of the population. The result is then always the same, namely one. The Jagiellonian compromise guarantees all EU citizens the same amount of influence on the decisions of the EU Council of Ministers. You couldn't ask more of a voting system."

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