EU parliamentarians set the requirements for TiSA negotiations

An overwhelming majority of EU Parliamentarians backed a resolution setting out their recommendations to the Commission for the ongoing negotiation on the Trade in Services Agreement also know as TiSA. The trade pact between the EU and other 22 WTO Members, aimed at improving international rules in sector such as financial, digital and transport services.

The final text has been adopted by 532 votes in favour, 131 against and 36 abstentions. Continue Reading

Centre-right EU parliamentarians rescue Commission’s new proposal on diesel car emission limits

VW Golf TDI clean diesel

Centre-right EU parliamentarians sided with the European Commission and narrowly pushed back an attempt by their leftist and liberal colleagues who wanted to force the Executive to come up with a different law on diesel car emissions.

The Commission proposed to temporarily raise diesel car emission limits by up to 110% as part of a package to introduce the Real Driving Emissions (RDE) test procedure.  Continue Reading

Iowa, a Small but Major Step Towards the White House

Iowa, United States – Americans have just received news from the first major caucus on the road to Election Day in November. People have been anxiously awaiting these results due to it being a major milestone in the race.

Here is what was learned last night. Ted Cruz finally knocked down Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump. Cruz came in at 28% support while Trump came in at 24%. This marks the first time another Republican candidate has overtaken Trump significantly. Marco Rubio came in third place with about 23% support. Trump no longer has the significant lead on the rest of the candidates that he thought he had. His attacks on other candidates may increase in strength now that he sees them as a threat. He began attacking Cruz for being a Canadian-born American recently because he was beginning to gain a lot of support.

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Amigos y rivales | Top 20 votes of the Spanish parties in the European Parliament

(Click here for the version in Spanish)

VoteWatch Europe’s director & co-founder, Doru P. Frantescu, has revealed in an interview with the Spanish publication El Espanol that, from the ideological perspective, Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) is much closer to Ciudadanos and Partido Popular than to Podemos. The conclusion is based on the analysis of the voting records of all Spanish Members of the European Parliament. Continue Reading

German and British MEPs are the only Socialists who disapprove the creation of the European Defence Union

In a vote last week in the European Parliament, British and German Socialist delegations have disapproved the creation of a European Defence Union.

The votes took place on an EP resolution called Mutual Defence Clause, which aims at asking to the EU institutions to establish, as soon as possible, practical arrangements and guidelines for the future potential activation of the mutual assistance clause. The document was adopted in the chamber following the official invocation of the mutual defence clause of Article 42(7) TEU[1] by France after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015. This was the first time in the EU history when this clause was invoked.

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EU deputies support the creation of a Digital Single Market

On Tuesday 19 January 2016, MEPs adopted a series of recommendations to boost the 16 Digital market initiatives launched by the Commission in May 2015. European Parliamentarians have pushed for a rapid adoption of the project.

The motion was approved by 551 to 88 with 39 abstentions on 678 presents. The majority in favor of the resolution included the Christian democrats, the Socialists, the Greens, the Liberals and the Conservatives. The radical left group abstained. The Eurosceptics and the Nationalists opposed the text. 90% of MEPs voted along political groups’ lines.

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What allies can the Polish PiS government rely on in the European Parliament?

Poland PiS

Today, the Polish PM Beata Szydlo will debate with MEPs the developments in Poland since her party, Law and Justice, took power last year. The discussion promises to be tough as the Polish government confronts outspoken EU critics after it has passed a series of controversial measures, including Constitutional Court and media reforms. The adoption of an EP resolution was postponed until February, but parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, said he expects an “extremely lively discussion”. Continue Reading

How strong is group loyalty in the European Parliament?

The power of each of the political groups in the European Parliament lies in its ability to reach a common position internally, among its various national party delegations, before it starts negotiations with the other groups. Depending on the subject matter, the common position is easier or harder to reach. The level of ‘loyalty’ to the groups’ political line differs by topic and by national delegation. Continue Reading

Jens Rohde’s party re-affiliation logic: migration policy comes first

Jens ROHDE – 8th Parliamentary term

Jens Rohde, a Danish Member of the European Parliament, has recently changed his national party affiliation from Ventre (liberals) to Radicale (social liberals), both parties being members of the ALDE group in the European Parliament. We were asked to look into his voting record and make a comparison of his positions with those of his former and new party colleagues, to understand the rationale of this shift. Continue Reading