The Luxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2005URL (Internet address) : http://www.eu2005.lu/en/savoir_ue/glossaire/glossaire_n/
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The Nice Treaty, concluded at the European Council from 7 to 9 December 2000 and signed on 26 February 2001, sought to amend the existing treaties. It came into force on 1 February 2003 following ratification by all Member States.
The treaty’s aim was to make the European institutions more legitimate and more efficient with the prospect of the enlargement of the Union. Prior to the adoption of the European Constitution in 2004, the treaty set out the rules for the working of the European institutions for a “25-member Europe", which have been in existence since 1 May 2004.
Apart from introducing qualified majority voting for decisions by the Council of the Union in certain areas, the Nice Treaty modifies the rules for representing the Member States of the Union within the European institutional triangle (Council of the European Union, European Commission and European Parliament).
While the allocation of the number of votes per country within the Council of the Union and the European Parliament will take greater account of the demographic importance of each country, a single commissioner will represent each country.