Agreement or Polarization? How European Institutions and MEPs React to Regulating AI

Following pressures to create a legal framework for artificial intelligence, European institutions are starting to draft initiatives and proposals. So, let’s take the next step in our AI journey and look at how European political actors are positioning themselves today. Spoiler alert: with caution and slight optimism.

We start by looking at the latest announcement from the European Commission, as it sets the tone and direction for the entire European Union. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of EP Plenary April 2018

During the latest plenary session, EU Parliamentarians were busy deciding on the discharge of EU institutions and agencies, but still found the time to vote on key issues regarding the controversial appointment of Martin Selmayr as the new Secretary General of the European Commission.

Additionally, political factions fought over the Monsanto-Bayer merger, the alleged conflicts of interest of EFSA’s (European Food Safety Authority) experts, the introduction of veto powers for national parliaments, binding rules to prevent reckless sovereign lending and borrowing, the latest trialogue compromise on emissions reduction and the options to rescue the troubled Pension Fund for MEPs. Continue Reading

Survey results: who will lead the EU after 2019?

How will the EU institutions look like after the 2019 reshuffle? This is the question on everyone’s mind in Brussels, but the answers differ based on the information that one has (one’s personal mini-bubble). In order to get an overview of the expectations of the EU affairs community as a whole,  VoteWatch Europe has surveyed more than 1.000 members of the broader ‘EU bubble’ (which also includes national civil servants, whose views are more reflective of the different national perspectives) for their views regarding the reallocation of top EU positions in 2019 (Presidencies of European Commission, European Parliament, European Council and European Central Bank). Continue Reading

Scenario: who could take over EU’s top posts in 2019?

2019 is surely going to bring a large shake-up to the EU system. Next year we will see the first EU elections without the British and an increasingly fragmented European Parliament, as new political movements like Macron’s En Marche and the Italian 5 Star Movement are set to pose a serious challenge to the traditional parties. As a result, the allocation of top EU posts will be a more complex operation than ever before. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary March 2018

Another plenary session, another special VoteWatch Europe report on the most controversial issues, the oddest voting behavior of EU Parliamentarians (MEPs) and the strangest bedfellows occurred in Strasbourg.

This time around, MEPs took a stance on whether EU countries infringing on the EU fundamental values should face financial consequences, whether new sources of revenue for the EU coffers should be introduced, as well as the controversial introduction of a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base at the EU level. Continue Reading

How could SMEs shape the debate on the future of the European Union?

With the Brexit deadline and the next European elections quickly approaching, the European Union is about to enter a new era (also check: the forecast of over 130 EU experts for the year ahead).

The main European institutions will experience major changes in 2019, with the elections of the new Presidents of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Central Bank, as well as the European Parliament. Continue Reading

Exclusive interview with MEP Fajon: what challenges for the EU accession of Western Balkans?

The European Commission has recently taken a bold new initiative to bring the Western Balkans closer to EU accession, demonstrating a desire for Serbia and Montenegro to become full members of the Union by 2025. This renewed momentum supporting the EU accession of Western Balkan countries comes amidst the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU, highlighting the different attitudes towards Brussels across the European continent.

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What takeaways from the latest Italian political earthquake?

Another major European election, another big earthquake for the (traditional) political establishment. In a historical Italian election, the mainstream parties that have dominated the Italian political life over the last 20 years (i.e. Renzi’s Democratic Party and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia) have been crushed by the 5 Star Movement (an internet-based party founded by a comedian), and the far-right League, whose campaign took inspiration from Donald Trump’s style. Continue Reading

Study: who will replace Pittella as the leader of the S&D group?

The departure of Pittella provides the S&D group with a great opportunity to kick start the preparations for the 2019 European elections. The question is, who will succeed him? This report looks into where the likely candidates to S&D leadership stand at this time and how their policy preferences match those of their fellow Social Democrats from the other delegations within the group.  Continue Reading