Can small states influence policy in an EU of 25 members? Baldur Thorhallsson Survey 1.Introduction 2.Decisive administrative characteristics 3.Little division between policy formulation and implementation 4.Relationships with the Commission 5.Negotiation tactics in the Council 6.Conclusion 1. Introduction When the European Communities were founded in the 1950s, a consi d - er able effort was made to allow the small Benelux (Belgium, the Nether - lands and Luxembourg) member states to feel at ease with the lar ger members (Germany, France and Italy). The institutional structures of the Communities bore the hallmark of a balanced decision-making sys - tem between the small and large states. It took account of the small states’ fear that their larger partners might try to control the agenda and become dominant within the new institutions. The small states, propor - tion ally,1gained a bigger voice within the decision-making system com- pared to the larger ones. This was enshrined in the Treaties and mainly took the form of each member state’s right to veto within the Council of Ministers, equal access to the policy-making structure of the Euro pean Commission and a proportionally higher number of repre sent a tives from the small states in the European Assembly. In addition, the fact that 330 1According to the number of inhabitants, GDP, territorial size and potential military capability.