Winners and losers of the EP Plenary Early October 2017

European Commission took another beating from the Parliament: its definition of endocrine disruptors gets rejected

The frustration of the bureaucrats in DG Health and Food Safety must be reaching a new high, as the elected EU politicians block their agenda once again. After being slapped with the rejection of their plans to approve a new genetically modified soybean, the Parliamentarians had an issue with the Executive’s definition of endocrine disruptors too. Continue Reading

What Does The Future Hold For Catalonia and Spain?

“Thirty years ago almost one third of the current EU member States did not exist in the form we know them today”, argues the representative of the Government of Catalonia to the EU, Amadeu Altafaj. On the other side, “the voice of the people” may end up being in fact an active minority, as Ignacio Molina, Senior Analyst of The Elcano Royal Institute observes that “opinion polls show that there is no majority in support of independence [for Catalonia] and even less so if the process is unilateral”. Continue Reading

INTERVIEW – Vălean: ‘EU should take the lead in the fight against climate change’

Half a year into the job of presiding over one of the most influential committees of the European Parliament, the one that legislates environmental (and energy) policy, MEP Adina Vălean feels that the EU can do more to lead the world into becoming truly environmentally-friendly. However, in this exclusive interview to VoteWatch, Vălean also explains how a two-speed Europe could weaken EU’s environmental ambitions and leverage on the global stage.  Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary September 2017

While most of the attention during last week’s EP plenary was focused on President Juncker’s speech, several other important (and under-the-radar) developments caught our attention, which will make the object of this report. At VoteWatch we focus on concrete facts (ie. decisions made), rather than promises or broad statements: we combine our statistical expertise and qualitative political insight to provide the most accurate (and non-partisan) reporting of EU politics’ trends. Continue Reading

UPDATED: Who holds the power in the European Parliament? Assessing the influence of individual MEPs

One year after the publication of our first assessment of the influence of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on EU policy-making, we are updating our findings in order to factor in the developments occurred over the last year. In this update, we also take into account the feedback that we received from our audience to improve the accuracy of our algorithm. Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland post-Brexit? Part 1: Politics in Britain’s most fragile region

The Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont, Belfast. Photo is courtesy of the author.

By Sean McLaughlin

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

Whilst a return to Northern Ireland’s bleak past is unlikely, Brexit disorders hard-won political settlements in “the province”. A hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic should be avoided at all costs. Continue Reading

What can the EU expect from the German federal election?

The future of many EU policies largely depends on the outcome of German election in September. Indeed, the potential end of the grand coalition, made up of the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats, could alter the position of Berlin on issues such as the EU defence policy and the future of the Eurozone.

According to its supporters, the grand coalition brought harmony and balance to German politics. Continue Reading

What will the EU27 Governments and the EP Actually Want from Brexit?

The EU and UK have just started negotiating the Brexit deal, but the future status of the EU-UK relations is more uncertain than ever. Theresa May’s bid to increase her majority in the Parliament by calling snap elections backfired. Political uncertainty is shared by continental Europe, as Member States struggle to find a common direction to the future of the Union. Continue Reading

Future of Europe: Voting in Council Signals Possible Changes

This is another sign that things are moving. Decision-making in the Council has traditionally been seen as a process converging towards consensus, so that the final outcome satisfies everyone. However, Brexit and the discussions on the future of Europe do reveal that some differences between Member States are more difficult to reconcile than others.

The vote on how to address fraud against the EU budget has become a key sticking point, with some governments being less willing than others to support EU’s defence of its own financial interests. Continue Reading