The pro-security camp in the EP is reinforced, following the attacks in Paris. This might secure a majority in favour of the EU PNR agreement

A large majority of EU parliamentarians adopted the report drafted by the French EPP MEP Rachida Dati on the prevention of radicalisation and recruitment of European citizens by terrorist organisations. The vote is highly significant since it takes place just few days after the tragic Paris terrorist attacks that were perpetrated by radicalised EU citizens.

The resolution was adopted by 548 votes in favour, 110 against and 36 abstentions. Continue Reading

Top 5 likely effects of Brexit on EU’s policies

With the perspective of the Brexit referendum looming ahead, many analyses that show the impact of this move on the economy in both the UK and the rest of the EU are published. Our analysis takes a different angle, looking at how the direction of the EU policies is likely to change in the absence of the UK representatives from the EU decision-making bodies.

In short, if UK leaves the EU, this will change substantially the dynamics in the EU institutions. Continue Reading

Spitzenkandidaten, EU-wide constituency and ‘europeanisations’ of elections rules for 2019, MEPs asked

MEPs from the pro-EU groups have made a very bold move this week, asking for fundamental changes to the way the European elections are to be conducted from now on. If these are adopted, in 2019 we will witness a very different kind of European elections, much more similar to the national ones, which would enhance the legitimacy and the power of the MEPs and of the EU institutions as a whole. Continue Reading

Cameron: reforming EU in line with UK’s objectives is not “mission impossible”

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, send a letter to the President of the EU Council, Donald Tusk, in which he expressed his determination to change the way the EU-UK relations look like, saying that this is not “mission impossible”.

His letter addresses three concrete priorities and a more general desire to take out the UK from the commitment to create “an ever closer Union”. Continue Reading

What is the new leftist Portuguese government likely to do?

by Doru P. Frantescu, director & co-founder of VoteWatch Europe

After the toppling of the center-right Portuguese government on Tuesday (10 November), just 11 days after it had taken office, an unusual coalition of the socialists and communists is likely to form the new government, under the leadership of Antonio Costa.

Commentators across Europe have pointed out that the new government might take a position against the EU, which it sees as one of the promoters of austerity, an ideology both the communists and the socialists have been very vocal against during the electoral campaign. Continue Reading

5 Things Europeans Should Know about the U.S. Presidential Election

by Matthew Saliman & Vladimir Vasilev

The 2016 presidential election is not the most popular topic among Europeans right now, when issues like the refugee crisis, the terrorist threats, Brexit, and climate change are more prominent concerns. Even with the TTIP agreement being debated in EU institutions, Europeans still feel the US elections as a distant process. Continue Reading

Who is the new Romanian PM (and former EU Commissioner), Dacian Ciolos?

by Doru P. Frantescu, director & co-founder of VoteWatch Europe

Dacian Ciolos, a 46 years old technocrat, has been appointed as caretaker prime-minister of Romania by president Klaus Iohannis. This move follows the resignation of the socialist-led Ponta government, against the background of massive protests that are asking for the modernisation of the political class. 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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Key lessons from the 26-29 October EP plenary

by Doru P. Frantescu, director & co-founder of VoteWatch Europe (@dorufrantescu)

During the plenary (or part-session) of the European Parliament between 26-29 October we saw some very interesting trends in the behavior of the political groups and which also explain the results of the votes. Here are just a few.

How cohesive has been each of the political groups?

Firstly, the EPP experienced a much greater internal discipline (or solidarity) than in the previous part-session. Out of the total 358 roll-call votes (a record high) that took place during the 3 days of voting at the end of October, in was only rarely that EPP Members deviated from the pre-established group line. As a result, EPP was the most cohesive group, with a score of 98% cohesion. Continue Reading

New rules for novel food were adopted. They include food from cloned animals

Novel food can be a newly-developed innovative food or a food that has been produced using new technologies and production processes. It can also include traditional foods from third countries that has never been eaten before in the EU. The legislative resolution adopted by the EU parliament approved plans to make it easier to get these novel foods approved.

The text was adopted by 359 votes in favour, 202 against and 127 abstentions. The centre-right group EU People’s Party and the Conservatives from ECR were able to reach a majority together with the Liberal ALDE members. The Socialist members were split with a majority of them abstaining.

Novel food final vote Continue Reading