The future of Europe is more uncertain than ever: the UK is leaving the bloc, while France and Germany are planning to rekindle the European project, as a way of addressing the increasing centrifugal tendencies in the Union. The next few years will be decisive in determining the future direction of the continent. In a time where the mere survival of the EU is at stake, Nordic countries are often seen as sitting on the fence: not particularly enthusiastic about further European political integration, but not on their way out either. Continue Reading
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
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
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
Doru Peter Frantescu is co-founder and CEO of VoteWatch Europe. His data-driven reports on the actual voting behavior of Parliamentarians and Governments in the EU decision-making have been quoted by reputed institutions and the media in over 35 countries on 5 continents.
In a panel this week at the European Business Summit and an interview with Euronews, he spoke about the directions in which we can expect the EU to go, applying the current trends revealed by the processing of actual decision-making data (as opposed to carefully-crafted political statements) to the events expected between now and the end of 2019. Continue Reading
Things are moving in Spain. With the election of Pedro Sanchez as the new leader of the Spanish Socialist party (PSOE), a potential referendum on the independence of Catalonia in September and Spanish Government’s tight majority in the national Parliament, there are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at this country’s politics. Pedro Sanchez’ victory took place in an already unstable political setting and is likely to enhance polarisation in Spanish politics. Continue Reading
Yesterday, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for a stronger EU response to some of the initiatives carried forward by the Hungarian government. Amongst others, Orban’s policies on migration and the attacks against the Central European University in Budapest are harshly criticised in the report.
An ad-hoc liberal-left wing coalition succeeded to rally a majority to push through a very critical resolution that asks for the launch of the rule of law procedure, which is only activated in case of risks of breaches of fundamental values of the EU. Continue Reading
In order to strengthen democratic processes in the European Union, it is crucial to understand what the representatives of the citizens at the EU level, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), stand for and how successful they are in shaping the Union’s policies. VoteWatch Europe used the big political data and experts’ insights to assess Belgian MEPs’ influence. Continue Reading
The Walloons are from Venus, the Flemish from Mars. Is it true what they say? Are the Belgians divided, and if yes, is this reflected when they take part in decisions made at the EU level? This report provides a comparative perspective of the positions taken by Belgian EU Parliamentarians on key issues voted recently in the European Parliament.
Please note that this is not a survey: we took into account the actual decisions made by Belgian MEPs, not merely opinions or carefully crafted political statements. Continue Reading