Who will replace Schulz (if anyone)?

Who will replace Schulz (if anyone)?

The elections for the EP Presidency are getting close and, what seemed an easy renewal of Martin Schulz’s mandate, has become a multifaceted race. The top European People’s Party and Socialists leaders may have felt comfortable keeping Schulz as EP President, while Tusk is reelected Council President next year, in order to avoid rocking the European boat during these difficult times. Continue Reading

(Opinion) CETA vs. Wallonia and the city of Brussels: the axes are out

By Doru Frantescu

As the tension is getting close to paroxysm this week, the views expressed by opinion leaders have radicalised. The commentators have become highly polarized between those that blame (the Parliaments of) Wallonia and Brussels for “taking the whole EU as a hostage” and those that defend Wallonia and Brussels by telling to those EU affairs expats who have any complaint about (the city of) Brussels to simply “go back to your own country”. Continue Reading

EU Council Simulation- call for applications

Do you want to better understand how the EU works? Are you looking for a transnational experience? VoteWatch Europe, Global Initiativ’ and l’Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) are organizing a simulation of the European Council that will give you the opportunity to participate in the decision-making process of EU.

What is it about?

The EU Council simulation aims to improve youth understanding of the functioning of EU Council. Continue Reading

Lessons to be learnt from CETA’s stalemate


Those who believed this spring that CETA was a done deal now have quite a few things on their hands. The complexity of the EU decision-making and the diverging political interests within it have once again taken the bureaucrats in charge of negotiating the deal by surprise.

This occurrence is a case in point of why one needs to make much broader political calculations when trying to get something approved by the EU decision-making machinery. Continue Reading

Will Poland “sacrifice” Tusk’s EU Council presidency due to internal politics?


by Łukasz Król and Doru Frantescu

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (ECR), recently announced that he might not support Tusk for a second term as the President of the European Council (Tusk’s term ends in June 2017). Is this just a tactical move or will he really go all the way and withdraw support for his political rival?

Law and Justice has long called for deep reforms within the EU, which include a stronger Council, weaker Commission, and more power to individual member states. Continue Reading

New contest: call for applications

VoteWatch Europe, Eyes of Europe and the Institute of European Studies ULB are organising a writing contest on the important issue of European citizenship.

This contest aims at encouraging students to express their opinions, by means of an article, on the level of youth participation in the European decision making process.

The participants are required to propose solutions or ideas on how citizens’ participation can be strengthened in order to minimise the democratic deficit within the European Union (EU). Continue Reading

What chances for a real European Common Security and Defense Policy?

by Eva Chitul and Doru Frantescu

Over the past few weeks, calls for more integration and coordination in EU Defense policy were elevated from several powerhouses. But what are the real chances of this project? This report measures the level of support from political forces across the EU, the balance of power between them and shows who are the allies of the European Defense Union project, who are its opponents and who are the (flexible) undecided. Continue Reading

MEPs’ deck of cards: who are the most influential ones?

A couple of weeks ago, VoteWatch Europe published an assessment of the most influential MEPs, which was based on a set of criteria weighted by more than 200 experts in EU Affairs. Drawing on that research, we designed a set of cards in order to highlight which are the most influential MEPs by activity. In fact, MEPs are influential in different ways and sometimes it might be very tricky to draw a comparison between their activities. Continue Reading

Who is for and against free trade in the European Parliament

Which members of the European Parliament – MEPs – are the most in favour of free trade and which, to the contrary, are the most opposed to it? Not necessarily those you might think, our latest VoteWatch Europe study shows.

We have used the European Parliament as object of analysis for two reasons. Firstly, this European institution plays an increasing role in influencing EU’s trade policy. Continue Reading

Who holds the power in the European Parliament on neighbourhood and enlargement policy? Assessing the influence of individual MEPs

Why are why doing this assessment?

VoteWatch Europe has recently conducted an overall assessment on the most influential MEPs over the current parliamentary term. This type of information is fundamental to the public, who needs to be aware of the personalities that shape policies affecting over 500 million EU citizens. The institutions as a whole, and in this case the EU institutions, take responsibility for the decisions made and their implementation, but in order to strengthen the democratic processes, the citizens also need to know which politicians within the institutions are playing a bigger role in shaping these decisions. Continue Reading