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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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

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

Polish approach weakens V4’s leverage to influence the future of Europe

Right when the European unity is more vocally proclaimed around its 60th celebration, it was challenged once more during the latest European Council in Brussels, when Donald Tusk was re-elected as Council’s President. Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, voted against his compatriot’s appointment and was outvoted 27-1 by the other Member States.

The Polish government has been increasingly drifting away from the core of the EU during the past couple of years and this event will likely accelerate this trend. Continue Reading

Dutch elections 2017: Conservative turn with rejection of radical parties

Round-up of the elections: Liberal-Conservative turn for the Netherlands

Despite losing some seats, the current PM and leader of the People’s Party for Progress and Freedom (VVD), Mark Rutte, comes out as the clear winner of the consultation. While this is mostly good news for Europe and the liberal order, a closer look at the results and how we’ve got here is needed to understand the likely policy of the next Dutch government. Continue Reading

What future for the Netherlands: do Dutch brace for more political instability?

Next week, Dutch citizens will cast their vote to elect the new members of the House of Representatives. This is the first round of a long series of elections that will take place in less than a year (Bulgaria, France, Germany, Czechia and Italy), whose combined outcome will determine the future direction of the European project.

What can the EU expect from the next Dutch government? Continue Reading

Future of the EU: which scenarios are the most likely to unfold?

After the publication of the White Paper on the Future of Europe by the European Commission, several heads of governments explicitly came out in supporting one of the 5 directions outlined by the document. French President, Francois Hollande, warned that without a multi-speed Europe, the European Union would explode. On the other hand, the Visegrad group argued against the multi-speed Europe and a Bulgarian MEP recently compared such a perspective to the apartheid. Continue Reading