Winners and losers of the EP Plenary September 2017

While most of the attention during last week’s EP plenary was focused on President Juncker’s speech, several other important (and under-the-radar) developments caught our attention, which will make the object of this report. At VoteWatch we focus on concrete facts (ie. decisions made), rather than promises or broad statements: we combine our statistical expertise and qualitative political insight to provide the most accurate (and non-partisan) reporting of EU politics’ trends. Continue Reading

UPDATED: Who holds the power in the European Parliament? Assessing the influence of individual MEPs

One year after the publication of our first assessment of the influence of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on EU policy-making, we are updating our findings in order to factor in the developments occurred over the last year. In this update, we also take into account the feedback that we received from our audience to improve the accuracy of our algorithm. Continue Reading

Fintech: how the new EU Capital Markets Union (CMU) could overshadow London

The consequences of Brexit are yet to come. What will happen to FinTech companies after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union? The majority of these start-ups mixing finance and technology are currently located in the UK. They are likely to lose passporting rights after Brexit, obliging them to move part of their operations to mainland Europe if they want to secure access to the EU’s single market. Continue Reading

Which role for the Nordic countries in the Europe of tomorrow?

The future of Europe is more uncertain than ever: the UK is leaving the bloc, while France and Germany are planning to rekindle the European project, as a way of addressing the increasing centrifugal tendencies in the Union. The next few years will be decisive in determining the future direction of the continent. In a time where the mere survival of the EU is at stake, Nordic countries are often seen as sitting on the fence: not particularly enthusiastic about further European political integration, but not on their way out either. Continue Reading

Vote on labour policy highlights political and national differences

Brexit will lead to a decrease in the support for a more flexible labour market across the European Union. In fact, over the decades, the British government opposed several EU initiatives aiming at stepping up worker protection, as they implied higher costs for businesses as a whole. The debates regarding the flexibility of the labour market have long haunted the different European institutions, which constantly hesitated about the positions they should adopt while trying to satisfy countries with heterogeneous views on the question. Continue Reading

Dutch coalition forecast: would the Christian Union fit in the new government?

The Dutch national elections took place more than 100 days ago and yet we don’t know what the new government will look like. After coalition talks with the green party (GroenLinks) collapsed as a result of disagreements on migration policy, the conservative Christian Union (ChristenUnie, CU) came into view as a possible fourth government party. Earlier we reported this possibility (i.e. Continue Reading

This is why the EU lacks a position on the Middle East crises

Qatar responded to the ultimatum imposed by other Gulf countries, as the tensions in the region keep escalating. While the US is very active, the EU seems to lack the ability to have a coherent position on these developments. Why? This report shows how key European political actors have different preferences for their coalition partners in the Middle East, which leads to the EU as a whole having an ambiguous response when these regional crises occur. Continue Reading

The EU Politics behind FinTech regulation post-Brexit

The digital revolution is irreversibly changing the way we live, but also the way we interact with political and financial institutions which, in turn, have a huge level of control over our lives. Political institutions shape the laws that we need to follow, while financial institutions control the credit and the money without which we are stuck. At VoteWatch Europe we use information technology to empower citizens politically, by providing the tools to scrutinise how our representatives make EU policies on our behalf. Continue Reading

French media tip VoteWatch Europe as the most reliable source for watching MEPs

During the 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections in France, much attention was payed to the work of some of the candidates in the European Parliament. The most prominent, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen, ran for the Presidency of the Republic.

In this electoral context, some candidates used manipulative sources to praise their own work in the EP, a trick spotted and addressed promptly by the media. Continue Reading

Will the new chair of IMCO increase ECR’s leverage in the committee?

© European Union 2017 – Source : EP

Anneleen Van Bossuyt, Member of the European Parliament and a rising star in the Belgian New Flemish Alliance, is the new Chair of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO). Our analysis of her political record indicates that she is well-positioned to recover some of the influence lost by the ECR group due to the Brexit process. Continue Reading