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SPP 500

Title: HOW SIZE MATTERS: PORTUGAL AS AN EU MEMBER
 
Author: Richard Rose and Alexander Trechsel
 
Description: The great majority of EU member states are not big states, and they are further divided into not so small, smaller and smallest states. The European Union’s establishment by a treaty between 27 independent states confers juridical equality on each state regardless of its population. Insofar as population matters, the handful of big states have more votes in EU institutions–but the EU norm is that decisions should be taken by consensus and compromise. Economic size has two contrasting measures, aggregate GDP and GDP per capita and the eurozone crisis joins a populous creditor country, Germany, with less populous debtor countries. This paper compares Portugal with other EU member states. Since Portugal is just above the median in population and just below in median GDP it can illustrate how the average EU member state can influence the collective policies of a political Union with half a billion citizens.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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