The Italian Electoral Puzzle: What Government and what impact on EU dynamics?

Executive summary: The outcome of the upcoming Italian elections is far from certain and it will likely lead to a difficult government formation process. For this reason, these elections are followed with apprehension in Brussels, as they might lead to more political instability and/or a shift from the current status quo in Rome, depending on which coalition will take the power. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary February 2018

This plenary session was clearly dominated by the debate on how to share the spoils after the British MEPs vacate their seats in 2019. The key event was the failed initiative to establish a joint constituency with transnational lists for the upcoming EP elections. On the other hand, most EU Parliamentarians renewed their support for the Spitzenkandidaten process and threatened to reject any other potential candidate to the Presidency of the European Commission. Continue Reading

Exclusive interview with MEP Ludvigsson: what role for Sweden in tomorrow’s EU?

The decision by the UK to leave the European Union has put Sweden, one of its main partners, in an awkward position. As highlighted by our previous report on Nordic countries, Swedish policymakers are not particularly enthusiastic about the Franco-German acceleration towards a multi-speed Europe, in particular when it comes to the Defence Union and the deepening of the Monetary Union. Continue Reading

The policy implications of the proposed post-Brexit seats redistribution in the European Parliament

Given the upcoming UK withdrawal from the European Union, EU Parliamentarians are scrambling to share the spoils, namely the British seats in the European Parliament. The current draft proposal by the EP Committee on Constitutional Affairs aims at redistributing 27 UK seats to 14 currently under-represented EU countries and keeping the remaining 46 UK seats as a reserve for potential pan-European lists and future EU enlargement. Continue Reading

Interview: Co-Chair of the Greens/EFA Ska Keller on the future of Europe

The European Greens are at a crossroads. Green parties are struggling to counter the rise of right-wing parties across the continent and put environmental protection back to the forefront of the political agenda of EU Member States.  Their closest partners, the Social Democrats, are also losing power in most countries, as they were not in the position to capitalize on the backlash against economic and social globalization. Continue Reading

Interview: EU budget rapporteur Siegfried Mureşan on the future of EU money

Negotiations on the EU budget are not the easiest, in particular at a time of rising political fragmentation and polarization. For the first time ever, the yearly EU budget did not draw the support of the second largest political family in the European Parliament, the Socialist and Democrats. Still, a centre-to-the-right majority of policymakers managed to push the 2018 budget through the plenary of the EP. Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland? Part 3: Economic prospects for Britain’s weakest region

Photo courtesy of Scotty Photography

Part three of a three-part report (missed the first part of the report? You can find it here. Second part is available here.)

By Sean McLaughlin

Any views in this report reflect the views of the author, not of VoteWatch Europe


It is often a pleasant flight across the Irish sea over to Northern Ireland. Patchy clouds give way to lush green land. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary December 2017

Highlights of this ‘Christmas edition':

– ‘United Front for the Salvation of the Single Market’ shapes up (i.e. for a tough position on Brexit negotiations) across the EU political forces;

– French EU Parliamentarians lead the opposition to a proposed pan-European broadcasting of TV shows and movies;

– The ‘anti-kebab’ coalition loses battle to ban an additive from this popular dish by just 4 votes – some German EU parliamentarians have been decisive in swinging the vote around;

– the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta were 1 vote close to be considered tax heavens. Continue Reading

What lies behind Catalan MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras’ loyalty to his political group?

Our analysis of striking voting behavior in the European Parliament continues. After the ‘unusual’ cases of Sirpa Pietikäinen and Claude Rolin, we now take a look at the positions taken by EU Parliamentarians whose voting choices diverge so little from the official lines of their political groups that it might raise some questions.

Indeed, as we previously pointed out, MEPs exist and vote beyond the political groups in which they seat. Continue Reading

Exclusive Interview: Japan’s Ambassador to the EU provides insight on future Euro-Japanese cooperation

The recent withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the halt in the Euro-American TTIP negotiations, the Brexit process and all the burgeoning voices worldwide demanding stronger protections of their special interests are signs of a general deterioration of trust in international trade (we predicted such changes back in 2016).  Continue Reading