Turkey’s Accession to the EU: VoteWatch analysis on eleven years of voting on accession negotiations with Turkey

 

 

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by Michael Kaeding[1] and Felix Schenuit

The political situation between Turkey and the EU is getting increasingly delicate. Recent developments, including Erdogan’s clear-cut reactions towards the resolution of the German Bundestag on the Armenian Genocide or the “Böhmermann affair” illustrate how big the differences are between Turkey and EU’s Member States. Continue Reading

Power mapping: what politicians actually think about EU’s future

Over the last few days the information market has been flooded with speculations on how the EU leaders will move next. We have measured the current political support for initiatives such as deeper integration of continental Europe, Northern Ireland’s and Scotland’s EU membership and Juncker’s continuation as Commission president. This is what we found. Continue Reading

The national and European politics behind Nord Stream II

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At a first glance, the expansion of the Nord Stream Pipeline might merely be seen as a rather technical and legal issue. However, its wide geopolitical implications have always been source of controversies and have led to an intense flurry of activities. In fact, since the very beginning, many stakeholders have been trying to influence the final decisions that have to be taken by both the Commission and some Member States. Continue Reading

How will the Austrian presidential elections influence EU’s (migration) policy and TTIP?

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Austrians will vote for a new President on April 24. The race is very tight, as the migration crisis is substantially impacting on the national political landscape. A victory of a candidate from outside the current grand-coalition would seriously undermine the governmental policies. The nationalist anti-immigration and anti-EU FPÖ is on the rise and pushes hard to be part of a future government. Continue Reading

The Polish new-old government’s priorities: build power base in Eastern Europe and enhance partnership with the US

by Monika Golaszewska

The head of Law and Justice Party (PiS), Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the incoming Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, unveiled on Monday their cabinet line-up. The new government will begin its tenure on November 12.

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Jaka przyszłość czeka Polskę? Specjalna analiza VoteWatch

25 października polscy obywatele zdecydują o przyszłości swojego kraju. Wybór ten z pewnością wpłynie także na resztę Europy: Polska jest szóstym pod względem wielkości państwem członkowskim i posiada jedną z najszybciej rozwijających się gospodarek. Ponadto, poza Wielką Brytanią, Polska jest największym krajem spoza strefy euro i posiada kluczową pozycję geostrategiczną na granicy UE ze znajdującą się w kryzysie Ukrainą. Continue Reading

What future for Poland? Special VoteWatch analysis

(click here for the version in Polish).

On 25th of October the Polish citizens will decide what future they want for their country. Their choice will undoubtedly impact the rest of Europe too: Poland is the 6th largest Member State (out of 28) and has one of the fastest growing economies on the continent. Moreover, apart from the UK, Poland is the largest non-eurozone member and holds a key geostrategic position at the EU’s border with the troubled Ukraine.

The positions that the Polish government will have in the following years on issues such as economic and political union, foreign and security policy, energy policy, environmental agenda, asylum policy and other key topics may shift the balance of power in the EU Council in one direction or the other. The upcoming Polish elections will determine which positions Poland will take on these important fields.

The infographic below shows the similarities and the differences between the views of the two leading competing parties, shaping two alternative scenarios for the future of Poland – the winner will impose its views as the “position of Warsaw” in Europe. Continue Reading

Do values topple nationality in the European Parliament?

Providing a wealth of data in an accessible format, VoteWatch Europe monitors voting patterns in the European institutions. For our latest European View, co-founder and director Doru Frantescu answers this million-Euro question.

The political parties from across the European continent have formed transnational political families, based on their values. Continue Reading

ALDE is back in its kingmaker seat in the EP

The findings based on the factual analysis of the data are sometimes counter-intuitive to some.  Since we started looking at the dynamics in the European Parliament in early 2009 we have revealed a number of state of facts which may have otherwise gone unnoticed. One of these is the fact that, in certain circumstances, it is not only the size of a parliamentary group that is instrumental in pushing through decisions of one’s choice. When none of the political groups holds a majority and the balance of power between the two big blocks at the left and the right is almost equal, the small groups may make the difference. This is particularly the case of the small group(s) who have a high coalition potential, i.e. who find it easy to swing between the center-left and the center-right.

In the case of the European Parliament, this parliamentary group is ALDE. One year after the elections, ALDE seems to have got back in its kingmaker seat at the table of the European Parliament. Although only 4th biggest now, ALDE has won more votes in the EP plenary than any other group. It is closely followed by the two ‘giants’, EPP and S&D, while the rest of the groups are far behind.

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How will MEPs shape EU copyright law?

By Doru Frantescu, Director and co-founder of VoteWatch Europe 

Last review: 19 June 2015.

This article discusses how the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are likely to shape the new EU copyright laws. We show that the conflict within the society between those who consume and those who create digital content has been transposed in the European Parliament in the struggle between the political forces on the classical left-right axis. We predict that the “pro open content camp” will gain the upper hand and will push for a softening of the regime of copyright throughout the EU, such as the abolition of geo-blocking and territoriality principle. We map the MEPs’ positions by ideology and country and show that, while the ideology is the main predictor of an MEP’s vote, the country of origin also plays a role (e.g. the French Members of the Socialist group have a position more in favour of protection of cultural property than the rest of their group colleagues, while the British Labour are more in favour of free market and protection of property in general, compared to their continental colleagues). 

On 9 June, the report drafted by the Chair of the Legal Affair Committee Pavel Svoboda (EPP – PL) on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement was voted during the EP plenary session in Strasburg and was approved (with 529 votes in favour and 143 against).

On 17 June, the report drafted by the German Pirate Party’s Julia Reda proposing major changes to copyright laws in the EU has been adopted by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee (JURI) after it spent several hours voting on 550 amendments. (23 votes in favour, 2 against). The report will now be voted on by the full European Parliament on July 9, where more amendments could be made. The final text will then be sent to the European Commission, which will use it as input for a legislative proposal on copyright reform, expected to appear by the end of the year.

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In May, the European Commission put forward the long-awaited guidelines for a digital strategy. The Pandora’s Box is now open and the Commission will take on board reactions from various segments of the society and politicians.

While there is a large consensus that going digital is the way forward, some of the areas have raised a high level of controversy. Perhaps chief among these is the approach to copyright, on which the Commission has announced plans to follow up with legislation before the end of 2015. Intellectual property seems to be one of the most hotly debated areas and which lines up impressive lobby efforts on both sides of the reform. Continue Reading