VoteWatch Europe’s Director, Doru Frantescu, interviewed by France 24 on Marine Le Pen’s voting record

“Because the National Front rejects the European institutions’ legitimacy, it opposes every initiative that gives power to institutions to invest at the local level, even though these proposals are positive for social rights”, VoteWatch Europe’s Director, Doru Frantescu, pointed out during an interview with France 24.

The far-right candidate Marine Le Pen will face the centrist Emmanuel Macron in a run-off for the French Presidency on the 7th May. Continue Reading

For or Against? How European Parliamentarians Are Shaping the Future of the EU

Executive summary

In the context of the debate on the future of the EU, which was triggered by the Brexit referendum and the rise of nationalism, it is crucial for the European public to understand who shapes the plans for reforming the EU and what the views of these influencers are.

To this purpose, VoteWatch Europe looked into key parliamentary activities and the votes of the MEPs on a set of crucial decisions to assess who are the most influential MEPs on constitutional affairs and in which direction each MEP and political faction pulls.

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France: the decline of traditional parties and the rise of internet-based movements

The results of the French elections are yet another historical event in a very short time interval: for the first time since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, the two major political parties have been voted out of the race in the first round, something inconceivable until recently in a “politically conservative” country like France.

More broadly, the  French elections seem to be confirming a trend that we’re seeing elsewhere, ie. Continue Reading

Who Holds the Switch on EU’s Energy Policy in the European Parliament?

As the EU currently works on overhauling its energy policy, it is crucial for the public to understand who are the movers and shakers among the EU politicians and in which direction each MEP and political faction actually pulls the policies, beyond mere (cleverly crafted) statements. To find that out, we conducted an analysis into parliamentary activities and the votes on 15 key decisions made in the European Parliament.

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How EU’s political dynamics impact China’s trade interests

The trade defense reform recently proposed by the European Commission is directly aiming at limiting Chinese exports to the EU, a creative way to avoid frontal collision with WTO regulations. This strategy has gained momentum especially after the Brexit referendum, as this is removing a key ally of China from the EU power game: the UK has been the most pro free-trade EU government and British leaders have fought, from inside the EU institutions, to block protectionist moves by the EU. Continue Reading

Dieselgate: British MEPs decisive on rejecting new EU supervisory agency

Dieselgate proved to be a highly contentious matter when debated in the European Parliament this week. The vote on the report of the special inquiry committee, set up after the accusations that car-maker Volkswagen used software to cheat diesel pollution controls, has revealed the variety of views among the EU decision-makers on the matter.

The report, ultimately approved by a majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), makes some concrete proposals, such as the simplification of air quality legislation at the European Union level, tighter surveillance controls, and the financial compensation of European car buyers. Continue Reading

Top 8 effects of Brexit on the future EU policies

This report looks at the impact of Brexit from a fresh angle, digging into how the direction of the EU policies is likely to change in the absence of the UK representatives from the EU decision-making bodies. Our research combines expert insights with big political data that captures the actual voting records of representatives of all 28 Member States in the EU institutions in recent years.  Continue Reading

How will the new French President impact on EU’s future? (Report)

The two major traditional political families that have structured French politics in the past few decades are in their death throes. Neither the Socialist Party (social-democratic) nor the Republicans party (centre-right) are assured of being in the run-off. This development generates high unpredictability with regard to the policies of the next French government, at a time of deep distress for the EU. Continue Reading

Need to Strengthen Energy Security in EU with New Risk Management and Continuity Concept

by Yannis Salavopoulos, MBA, CEO of CAPITALS Circle Group and Global Sustain GmbH, Guest Lecturer at SRH Berlin Int. Management University

The transition to a low carbon economy in the European Union (EU) with cleaner energy requires energy security. Important elements of energy security are the EU itself, competent authorities in the member states and energy providers (state, semi state or private energy companies). Continue Reading

France more likely than Germany to lead the EU Council after Brexit, voting records in the Council show

with special thanks to professor Simon Hix and research assistant Davide Ferrari

First published on July the 17th 2016, this article has been updated to take into account the latest political developments. 

While Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 today, on Wednesday, March 29, many observers wonder how the equilibrium of powers in the EU Council will change without the UK at the negotiations table. Continue Reading