VoteWatch Europe is an independent organisation set up to promote better debates and greater transparency in EU decision-making, by providing easy access to, and analysis of, the votes and other activities of the European Parliament (EP) and the EU Council of Ministers (Council). VoteWatch uses the EU Institutions’ own attendance, voting and activity data – available through their websites – to give a full overview of MEP and Member State activities.
Using sophisticated statistical methods developed by political scientists from the London School of Economics and New York University, the website covers the activities of Parliament and Council since 2009. (Parliament statistics dating back to 2004 are also available on the website). Information on the EP is updated daily following each voting session. Council votes are updated as and when voting data is made available by the Council secretariat. Follow us on Twitter if you are interested in receiving immediate updates.
VoteWatch Europe is run by a small professional team which combines skills and expertise in EU affairs with extensive experience in the development and use of online transparency tools.
We work through two legal entities: a Community Interest Company (CIC) registered in the UK, and an international non-profit association (AISBL in French or IVZW in Dutch) registered in Belgium. We are registered for VAT in Belgium.
Director: Mr Doru Frantescu (co-founder). Since the start of the organisation in 2009, Doru has lead the the development of the data analysis and the on-line communication tools. He is the main author of numerous reports on voting behavior in the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers and particularly during the campaign for 2014 European elections he was quoted frequently by the media around the world. Doru has also worked with think tanks in 20 Member States in a pan-European project which aimed at bringing European issues in the local public debates. He also has experience in the media sector and speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian and Romanian. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Policy and Events Assistant: Ms Elisa Irlandese. Elisa assists the team in the organisation of VoteWatch events, research and outreach, also focusing on EP elections projects. She has previously worked in the European Parliament and in a European industry association. She speaks English, French and Italian. Email: email@example.com.
VoteWatch CIC and VoteWatch Europe AISBL:
Chair: Dr Simon Hix (co-founder). Professor of European and Comparative Politics and Head of the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Hix is an expert on EU politics, comparative democratic institutions, parliamentary voting behaviour, and parties and elections. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (s.hix at lse.ac.uk).
Vice Chair: Dr Sara Hagemann (co-founder). Lecturer in EU Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has previously worked in think-tanks in Brussels and governmental institutions in Denmark. Hagemann frequently participates in policy debates and has published extensively on EU governance and democracy. From 2009 to 2011 shewas Executive Director of VoteWatch CIC (s.hagemann at lse.ac.uk).
Ms Kathalijne Buitenweg. Board member of the Dutch Institute for Human Rights, Supervisory Board member of Pro Demos, the Netherlands House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, and member of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs. Buitenweg served as a Green MEP from the Netherlands from 1999-2009.
Mr Mikołaj Dowgielewicz. Vice-Governor for Target Group Countries at the Council of Europe Development Bank in Paris. Before that he was Secretary of State for European Affairs and Economic Policy in the Polish government. Dowgielewicz also worked as an adviser on enlargement issues to European Parliament President Pat Cox and as spokesman and member of cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström.
Dr Ignasi Guardans. Partner at K&L Gates LLP. CEO and co-founder of CUMEDIAE – Culture & Media Agency Europe AISBL. Guardans is a former Member of the European Parliament from Spain (ALDE Group), and a former Member of the Spanish Parliament. He is a regular contributor to Spanish media, and a respected voice in Spanish speaking social media.
Dr Abdul G. Noury (co-founder). Associate Professor of Political Economy at New York University (NYU-AD). Abdul is an expert on European Political Economy, Legislatures, and Applied Statistics, which he also teaches at NYU. Noury has published extensively on legislatures and economic aspects European integration.
Sir Julian Priestley. Chairman of the Board of Directors of EPPA (European Public Policy Advisers), a Brussels based public affairs consultancy. From 1997 to 2007 he was Secretary-General of the European Parliament. He is the author of “Six Battles That Shaped Europe’s Parliament” (2008) and co-author of “Europe’s Parliament – People, Places, Politics” (2012).
Secretary of VoteWatch Europe AISBL: Mr Doru Frantescu
Secretary of VoteWatch CIC: Mr Michiel van Hulten
The members of VoteWatch CIC are Doru Frantescu, Sara Hagemann, Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Michiel van Hulten.
VoteWatch Europe AISBL:
The General Assembly of VoteWatch Europe AISBL is comprised of full members, associate members, supporting members and honorary members.
Currently our full members are: Sara Hagemann, Simon Hix, and Abdul Noury.
Kathalijne Buitenweg, Mikołaj Dowgielewicz, Ignasi Guardans, Sir Julian Priestley and the European Policy Centre (EPC) are associate members.
- VoteWatch Community Interest Company (UK):
Our budget for 2011 – 2012 amounted to just under 280.000 euros. This included 45.000 euros carried over from the previous year and 205.000 euros in new grants (120.000 euros from the Open Society Foundations and 85.000 from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust), as well as some income from paid services and donations. We received generous in-kind support from the Centre for European Policy Studies (office accommodation), Burson-Marsteller (PR support) and White & Case (legal advice).
Approximately 45% of our expenditure was on personnel costs. 35% went to IT, including website redesign, hosting and maintenance, software development and data collection. The remaining 20% was spent on office rental (as of 1 February 2012 we sublet a shared office at the European Policy Centre), office expenses and VAT payments (we are registered for VAT in the UK).
Our budget for the year 1 July 2012 – 30 June 2013 amounted to 157.454 euros. Grant payments were received during this year from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (36.512 euros), the European Parliament (74.586) and the Fondation Charles Leopold Mayer (7.500). 14.260 euros was generated through consultancy activities. We also received generous in-kind support from Burson-Marsteller (PR support) and White & Case (legal advice).
Approximately one-third of the budget was spent on core monitoring and analysis work, before responsibility for these activities was transferred to VoteWatch Europe AISBL at the end of 2012. The remaining two-thirds of the budget was spent on implementing the MyVote2014 European elections project co-financed by the European Parliament. This project carried on into our next financial year.
- VoteWatch Europe AISBL (Belgium):
Our budget for 2012 amounted to 123.573 euros. This included a grant of 114.273 from the Open Society Foundations and income from paid services of 9.300 euros. As the AISBL only became operational in the fourth quarter of 2012, most of these funds (88.626 euros) were placed in reserve for use in 2013. Of the 34.947 euros spent in 2012, 90% went on personnel costs and the remaining 10% on rent and other administrative overhead.
Our income for 2013 amounted to 300.814 euros. This included 88.625 euros from the Open Society Foundations, carried over from 2012, a new grant of 112.500 from Adessium Foundation, and a new grant of 18.750 from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. Income from consultancy services amounted to 78.504 euros. Membership fees generated 1.500 euros and we received 933 euros in donations.
On the expenditure side, 55% was spent on personnel costs, 24% on website and product development and 11% on office and operational expenses. 10% went to VoteWatch CIC in the form of a grant to help implement the MyVote2014 project.