Bank of England
The Bank of England is the central bank of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the English Government's banker, still one of the bankers for the Government of the United Kingdom, it is the world's eighth-oldest bank, it was owned by stockholders from its foundation in 1694 until it was nationalised in 1946. The Bank became an independent public organisation in 1998, wholly owned by the Treasury Solicitor on behalf of the government, but with independence in setting monetary policy; the Bank is one of eight banks authorised to issue banknotes in the United Kingdom, has a monopoly on the issue of banknotes in England and Wales and regulates the issue of banknotes by commercial banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee has a devolved responsibility for managing monetary policy; the Treasury has reserve powers to give orders to the committee "if they are required in the public interest and by extreme economic circumstances", but such orders must be endorsed by Parliament within 28 days.
The Bank's Financial Policy Committee held its first meeting in June 2011 as a macroprudential regulator to oversee regulation of the UK's financial sector. The Bank's headquarters have been in London's main financial district, the City of London, on Threadneedle Street, since 1734, it is sometimes known as The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street, a name taken from a satirical cartoon by James Gillray in 1797. The road junction outside is known as Bank junction; as a regulator and central bank, the Bank of England has not offered consumer banking services for many years, but it still does manage some public-facing services such as exchanging superseded bank notes. Until 2016, the bank provided personal banking services as a privilege for employees. England's crushing defeat by France, the dominant naval power, in naval engagements culminating in the 1690 Battle of Beachy Head, became the catalyst for England rebuilding itself as a global power. England had no choice. No public funds were available, the credit of William III's government was so low in London that it was impossible for it to borrow the £1,200,000 that the government wanted.
To induce subscription to the loan, the subscribers were to be incorporated by the name of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. The Bank was given exclusive possession of the government's balances, was the only limited-liability corporation allowed to issue bank notes; the lenders would give the government cash and issue notes against the government bonds, which can be lent again. The £1.2m was raised in 12 days. As a side effect, the huge industrial effort needed, including establishing ironworks to make more nails and advances in agriculture feeding the quadrupled strength of the navy, started to transform the economy; this helped the new Kingdom of Great Britain – England and Scotland were formally united in 1707 – to become powerful. The power of the navy made Britain the dominant world power in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; the establishment of the bank was devised by Charles Montagu, 1st Earl of Halifax, in 1694. The plan of 1691, proposed by William Paterson three years before, had not been acted upon.
58 years earlier, in 1636, Financier to the king, Philip Burlamachi, had proposed the same idea in a letter addressed to Sir Francis Windebank. He proposed a loan of £1.2m to the government. The royal charter was granted on 27 July through the passage of the Tonnage Act 1694. Public finances were in such dire condition at the time that the terms of the loan were that it was to be serviced at a rate of 8% per annum, there was a service charge of £4,000 per annum for the management of the loan; the first governor was Sir John Houblon, depicted in the £50 note issued in 1994. The charter was renewed in 1742, 1764, 1781; the Bank's original home was in Walbrook, a street in the City of London, where during reconstruction in 1954 archaeologists found the remains of a Roman temple of Mithras. The Bank moved to its current location in Threadneedle Street in 1734, thereafter acquired neighbouring land to create the site necessary for erecting the Bank's original home at this location, under the direction of its chief architect Sir John Soane, between 1790 and 1827.
When the idea and reality of the national debt came about during the 18th century, this was managed by the Bank. During the American war of independence, business for the Bank was so good that George Washington remained a shareholder throughout the period. By the charter renewal in 1781 it was the bankers' bank – keeping enough gold to pay its notes on demand until 26 February 1797 when war had so diminished gold reserves that – following an invasion scare caused by the Battle of Fishguard days earlier – the government prohibited the Bank from paying out in gold by the passing of the Bank Restriction Act 1797; this prohibition lasted until 1821. The 1844 Bank Charter Act tied the issue of notes to the gold reserves and gave the Bank sol
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Financial crisis of 2007–2008
The financial crisis of 2007–2008 known as the global financial crisis and the 2008 financial crisis, is considered by many economists to have been the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It began in 2007 with a crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States, developed into a full-blown international banking crisis with the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 15, 2008. Excessive risk-taking by banks such as Lehman Brothers helped to magnify the financial impact globally. Massive bail-outs of financial institutions and other palliative monetary and fiscal policies were employed to prevent a possible collapse of the world financial system; the crisis was nonetheless followed by the Great Recession. The European debt crisis, a crisis in the banking system of the European countries using the euro, followed later. In 2010, the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted in the US following the crisis to "promote the financial stability of the United States".
The Basel III capital and liquidity standards were adopted by countries around the world. Following is a timeline of major events during the financial crisis: February 20, 2007: The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its peak level of 12,786. Existing home sales peaked this month and began to decline. April 2007: New Century, an American REIT specializing in sub-prime mortgages, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; this propagated the sub-prime crisis, to banks around the world. August 9, 2007: BNP Paribas, a French investment bank, blocked withdrawals from two of its hedge funds – a clear sign that banks were refusing to do business with each other. August 2007: The Federal Open Market Committee began reducing the federal funds rate from its peak of 5.25% in response to worries about liquidity and confidence. December 12, 2007: The Federal Reserve instituted the Term Auction Facility to supply short-term credit to banks with sub-prime mortgages. February 13, 2008: The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was enacted, which included a tax rebate.
March 17, 2008: The Federal Reserve guaranteed Bear Stearns' bad loans to facilitate its acquisition by JPMorgan Chase. July 11, 2008: IndyMac failed. July 30, 2008: The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was enacted. September 7, 2008: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over by the federal government. September 15, 2008: Lehman Brothers went bankrupt after the Federal Reserve declined to guarantee its loans, causing the Dow Jones to drop 504 points, its worst decline in seven years; the same day, Bank of America purchased Merrill Lynch. September 16, 2008: The Federal Reserve took over American International Group; the Reserve Primary Fund "broke the buck" as a result of massive withdrawals from money market accounts. September 21, 2008: Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley converted themselves from investment banks to bank holding companies to increase their protection by the Federal Reserve. September 26, 2008: Washington Mutual went bankrupt after a bank run. September 29, 2008: The House of Representatives rejected the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 instituting the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program.
In response the Dow Jones dropped its largest single-day decline. October 3, 2008: Congress passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008. November 25, 2008: The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility was announced. December 16, 2008: The federal funds rate was lowered to zero percent. January 2009: The Big Three automobile manufacturers received a bailout from the TARP program. February 13, 2009: Congress approved the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package. March 6, 2009: The Dow Jones hit its lowest level of 6,443.27. The precipitating factor for the Financial Crisis of 2007–2008 was a high default rate in the United States subprime home mortgage sector – the bursting of the "subprime bubble." While the causes of the bubble are disputed, some or all of the following factors must have contributed. Low interest rates encouraged mortgage lending. Securitization. Many mortgages were bundled together and formed into new financial instruments called mortgage-backed securities, in a process known as securitization.
These bundles could be sold as low-risk securities because they were backed by credit default swaps insurance. Because mortgage lenders could pass these mortgages on in this way, they could and did adopt loose underwriting criteria. Lax regulation allowed predatory lending in the private sector after the federal government overrode anti-predatory state laws in 2004; the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 US federal law designed to help low- and moderate-income Americans get mortgage loans encouraged banks to grant mortgages to higher risk families. Reckless lending by, for example, Bank of America's Countrywide Financial unit, caused Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lose market share and to respond by lowering their own standards. Mortgage guarantees. Many of the subprime loans were bundled and sold accruing to the quasi-government agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the implicit guarantee by the US federal government created a moral hazard and contributed to a glut of risky lending. The accumulation and subsequent high default rate of these subprime mortgages led to the financial crisis and the consequent damage to the world economy.
High mortgage approval rates led to a large pool of homebuyers. This appreciation in value led large numbers of homeowners to borrow against their homes as an apparent windfall; this "bubble" would be burst by a r
The 1973–75 recession or 1970s recession was a period of economic stagnation in much of the Western world during the 1970s, putting an end to the overall Post–World War II economic expansion. It differed from many previous recessions by being a stagflation, where high unemployment and high inflation existed simultaneously. Among the causes were the 1973 oil crisis and the fall of the Bretton Woods system after the Nixon Shock; the emergence of newly industrialized countries increased competition in the metal industry, triggering a steel crisis, where industrial core areas in North America and Europe were forced to re-structure. The 1973–74 stock market crash made the recession evident; the recession in the United States lasted from November 1973 to March 1975, its effects on the US were felt through the Jimmy Carter presidency until the mid-term of Ronald Reagan's first term as president, characterized by low economic growth. Although the economy was expanding from 1975 to the first recession of the early 1980s, which began in January 1980, inflation remained high until the early 1980s.
The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates. Although the recession ended in March 1975, the unemployment rate did not peak for several months. In May 1975, the rate reached its height for the cycle of 9 percent; the recession lasted from 1973–75 in the United Kingdom. The GDP declined by 3.9% or 3.37% depending on the source. It took 14 quarters for the UK's GDP to recover to that at the start of recession; the oil crisis was to blame for the downturn in the United Kingdom, just as it was for the similar crisis in the States, although the real crisis came in the form of the Three-Day Week, the result of fears over power shortages as a miner's strike was announced in December 1973. The three-day week was a state of emergency imposed by Conservative prime minister Edward Heath, which came into force on 1 January 1974, meaning that commercial users of electricity were limited to three specific consecutive days' consumption of electricity, forbidden to work longer hours of those days, although services deemed essential were exempted from these regulations.
Electricity blackouts across the country were widespread. There was double-digit inflation during this period, which peaked at more than 20%; the trade deficit was massive and national debt was rising sharply. Edward Heath's offer of a 13% pay rise was rejected by the miners, he responded by calling a snap election on 28 February 1974 in what he saw as an opportunity for the electorate to show the miners that the government – and not the miners or the unions – were responsible for running the country. Most opinion polls suggested that the Tories would be re-elected with a majority, but when the election results came through on the morning of 1 March 1974, no party had an overall majority; the gap between Ted Heath's Tory government and the Labour opposition led by Harold Wilson was so narrow that the Tories received the most votes but Labour won more seats. Heath fought to keep the Tories in government by attempting to form a coalition with the Liberal Party and offering a cabinet post to Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, but this attempt to remain in power proved unsuccessful for Heath and he was forced to resign as prime minister on 4 March, paving the way for Harold Wilson's Labour to return to power as a minority government before winning a second election on 10 October by a majority of just three seats.
Economic growth was re-established in 1975 as the recession's end was declared, but Britain's economy remained shaky. Inflation remained high, strikes continued to cripple manufacturing and public services, unemployment continued to rise above the 1,000,000 mark, just after the resignation of Harold Wilson as prime minister in March 1976, his successor James Callaghan was forced to call on the International Monetary Fund for a multibillion-pound bail-out in an attempt to bolster Britain's flagging economy; the Labour government's tiny majority was wiped out by early 1977 as a result of by-election defeats, Callaghan managed to form a coalition with the Liberals to hang onto power. The pact concluded in the summer of 1978, by which time economic growth had picked up, opinion polls suggested that Labour could form a majority government if a general election was held. However, Callaghan ruled out an election in September 1978, within weeks a series of strikes began which would spark the Winter of Discontent in which Britain came to a virtual standstill with numerous strikes in the public sector.
In March 1979, a vote of no confidence issued by Tory opposition leader Margaret Thatcher sparked the collapse of the Labour government and in the election in May that year, the Tories returned to power. The two major factors of the 1973–75 recession – inflation and strikes – were neutralised during the first term of the Thatcher-led Tory government, with inflation falling to a 15-year low and strikes to a 30-year low by the time of their election win of 1983, but the monetarist policies designed to curb inflation saw unemployment rise from 1,500,000 to 3,200,000 during that time and it was not until the turn of the 21st century, by which tim
United Kingdom company law
The United Kingdom company law regulates corporations formed under the Companies Act 2006. Governed by the Insolvency Act 1986, the UK Corporate Governance Code, European Union Directives and court cases, the company is the primary legal vehicle to organise and run business. Tracing their modern history to the late Industrial Revolution, public companies now employ more people and generate more of wealth in the United Kingdom economy than any other form of organisation; the United Kingdom was the first country to draft modern corporation statutes, where through a simple registration procedure any investors could incorporate, limit liability to their commercial creditors in the event of business insolvency, where management was delegated to a centralised board of directors. An influential model within Europe, the Commonwealth and as an international standard setter, UK law has always given people broad freedom to design the internal company rules, so long as the mandatory minimum rights of investors under its legislation are complied with.
Company law, or corporate law, can be broken down into two main fields. Corporate governance in the UK mediates the rights and duties among shareholders, employees and directors. Since the board of directors habitually possesses the power to manage the business under a company constitution, a central theme is what mechanisms exist to ensure directors' accountability. UK law is "shareholder friendly" in that shareholders, to the exclusion of employees exercise sole voting rights in the general meeting; the general meeting holds a series of minimum rights to change the company constitution, issue resolutions and remove members of the board. In turn, directors owe a set of duties to their companies. Directors must carry out their responsibilities with competence, in good faith and undivided loyalty to the enterprise. If the mechanisms of voting do not prove enough for minority shareholders, directors' duties and other member rights may be vindicated in court. Of central importance in public and listed companies is the securities market, typified by the London Stock Exchange.
Through the Takeover Code the UK protects the right of shareholders to be treated and trade their shares. Corporate finance concerns the two money raising options for limited companies. Equity finance involves the traditional method of issuing shares to build up a company's capital. Shares can contain any rights the company and purchaser wish to contract for, but grant the right to participate in dividends after a company earns profits and the right to vote in company affairs. A purchaser of shares is helped to make an informed decision directly by prospectus requirements of full disclosure, indirectly through restrictions on financial assistance by companies for purchase of their own shares. Debt finance means getting loans for the price of a fixed annual interest repayment. Sophisticated lenders, such as banks contract for a security interest over the assets of a company, so that in the event of default on loan repayments they may seize the company's property directly to satisfy debts. Creditors are to some extent, protected by courts' power to set aside unfair transactions before a company goes under, or recoup money from negligent directors engaged in wrongful trading.
If a company is unable to pay its debts as they fall due, UK insolvency law requires an administrator to attempt a rescue of the company. If rescue proves impossible, a company's life ends when its assets are liquidated, distributed to creditors and the company is struck off the register. If a company becomes insolvent with no assets it can be wound up by a creditor, for a fee, or more by the tax creditor. Company law in its modern shape dates from the mid-19th century, however an array of business associations developed long before. In medieval times traders would do business through common law constructs, such as partnerships. Whenever people acted together with a view to profit, the law deemed. Early guilds and livery companies were often involved in the regulation of competition between traders; as England sought to build a mercantile Empire, the government created corporations under a Royal Charter or an Act of Parliament with the grant of a monopoly over a specified territory. The best known example, established in 1600, was the British East India Company.
Queen Elizabeth I granted it the exclusive right to trade with all countries to the east of the Cape of Good Hope. Corporations at this time would act on the government's behalf, bringing in revenue from its exploits abroad. Subsequently, the Company became integrated with British military and colonial policy, just as most UK corporations were dependent on the British navy's ability to control trade routes on the high seas. A similar chartered company, the South Sea Company, was established in 1711 to trade in the Spanish South American colonies, but met with less success; the South Sea Company's monopoly rights were backed by the Treaty of Utrecht, signed in 1713 as a settlement following the War of Spanish Succession, which gave the United Kingdom an assiento to trade, to sell slaves in the region for thirty years. In fact the Spanish let only one ship a year enter. Unaware of the problems, investors in the UK, enticed by company promoters' extravagant promises of profit, bought thousands of shares.
By 1717, the South Sea Company was so wealthy. This accelerated the inflation of the share price further, as did the Royal Exchange and London Assurance Corporation Act 1719, whi
Member state of the European Union
The European Union consists of 28 member states. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the privileges and obligations of membership. Unlike members of most international organisations, the member states of the EU are subjected to binding laws in exchange for representation within the common legislative and judicial institutions. Member states must agree unanimously for the EU to adopt policies concerning defence and foreign policy. Subsidiarity is a founding principle of the EU. In 1957, six core states founded the European Economic Community; the remaining states have acceded in subsequent enlargements. On 1 July 2013, Croatia became the newest member state of the EU. To accede, a state must fulfill the economic and political requirements known as the Copenhagen criteria, which require a candidate to have a democratic, free-market government together with the corresponding freedoms and institutions, respect for the rule of law. Enlargement of the Union is contingent upon the consent of all existing members and the candidate's adoption of the existing body of EU law, known as the acquis communautaire.
There is disparity in the size and political system of member states, but all have de jure equal rights. In practice, certain states are more influential than others. While in some areas majority voting takes place where larger states have more votes than smaller ones, smaller states have disproportional representation compared to their population. No member state has withdrawn or been suspended from the EU, though some dependent territories or semi-autonomous areas have left. In June 2016, the United Kingdom held a referendum on membership of the EU, resulting in 51.89% of votes cast, being in favour of leaving. The United Kingdom government invoked Article 50 on 29 March 2017 to formally initiate the withdrawal process. Notes According to the Copenhagen criteria, membership of the European Union is open to any European country, a stable, free-market liberal democracy that respects the rule of law and human rights. Furthermore, it has to be willing to accept all the obligations of membership, such as adopting all agreed law and switching to the euro.
To join the European Union, it is required for all member states to agree. In addition to enlargement by adding new countries, the EU can expand by having territories of member states, which are outside the EU, integrate more or by a territory of a member state which had seceded and rejoined. Enlargement is, has been, a principal feature of the Union's political landscape; the EU's predecessors were founded by the "Inner Six", those countries willing to forge ahead with the Community while others remained skeptical. It was only a decade before the first countries changed their policy and attempted to join the Union, which led to the first skepticism of enlargement. French President Charles de Gaulle feared British membership would be an American Trojan horse and vetoed its application, it was only after de Gaulle left office and a 12-hour talk by British Prime Minister Edward Heath and French President Georges Pompidou took place that the United Kingdom's third application succeeded in 1970.
Applying in 1969 were the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway. Norway, declined to accept the invitation to become a member when the electorate voted against it, leaving just the UK, Denmark to join, but despite the setbacks, the withdrawal of Greenland from Denmark's membership in 1985, three more countries joined the Communities before the end of the Cold War. In 1987, the geographical extent of the project was tested when Morocco applied, was rejected as it was not considered a European country; the year 1990 saw the Cold War drawing to a close, East Germany was welcomed into the Community as part of a reunited Germany. Shortly thereafter, the neutral countries of Austria and Sweden acceded to the newly renamed European Union, though Switzerland, which applied in 1992, froze its application due to opposition from voters while Norway, which had applied once more, had its voters reject membership again in 1994. Meanwhile, the members of the former Eastern Bloc and Yugoslavia were all starting to move towards EU membership.
Eight of these, plus Cyprus and Malta, joined in a major enlargement on 1 May 2004 symbolising the unification of Eastern and Western Europe in the EU. They were followed by Bulgaria and Romania in 2007 and Croatia in 2013; the EU has prioritised membership for the rest of the Western Balkans. Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey are all formally acknowledged as candidates, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are potential candidates. Turkish membership, pending since the 1980s, is a more contentious issue. Aside from the Cyprus dispute being a long-standing hurdle, relations between the EU and Turkey have become strained after several incidents concerning the 2016 Turkish coup d'état attempt, the Turkish referendum, the resulting 2016–17 purges in Turkey; this has led to the European Parliament calling for a suspension of membership talks. Each state has representation in the institutions of the European Union. Full membership gives the government of a member state a seat in the Council of the European Union and European Council.
When decisions are not being taken by consensus, votes are weighted so that a country with a greater population has more votes within the Coun