What allies can the Polish PiS government rely on in the European Parliament?

Poland PiS

Today, the Polish PM Beata Szydlo will debate with MEPs the developments in Poland since her party, Law and Justice, took power last year. The discussion promises to be tough as the Polish government confronts outspoken EU critics after it has passed a series of controversial measures, including Constitutional Court and media reforms. The adoption of an EP resolution was postponed until February, but parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, said he expects an “extremely lively discussion”. Continue Reading

How strong is group loyalty in the European Parliament?

The power of each of the political groups in the European Parliament lies in its ability to reach a common position internally, among its various national party delegations, before it starts negotiations with the other groups. Depending on the subject matter, the common position is easier or harder to reach. The level of ‘loyalty’ to the groups’ political line differs by topic and by national delegation. Continue Reading

Jens Rohde’s party re-affiliation logic: migration policy comes first

Jens ROHDE – 8th Parliamentary term

Jens Rohde, a Danish Member of the European Parliament, has recently changed his national party affiliation from Ventre (liberals) to Radicale (social liberals), both parties being members of the ALDE group in the European Parliament. We were asked to look into his voting record and make a comparison of his positions with those of his former and new party colleagues, to understand the rationale of this shift. Continue Reading

The EU Parliamentarians of which country are most present in votes?

The influence in the European politics is determined by many factors, some of which are less transparent or very hard to measure objectively. But one of them that can be quantified objectively is the participation in the votes in the European Parliament. At the end of the day, the EU legislation has to pass through the EP plenary and, as in any democratic decision-making mechanism, the decisions are made by a vote. Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians back the creation of an Energy Union

Only a couple of days after the ending of the COP21 Paris conference and that a historic agreement to tackle climate change was agreed by world leaders, a majority of EU parliamentarians adopted a strategy for the Energy Union.

The motion was adopted by 403 vote in favour, 177 against and 117 abstentions. The majority in favour of the motion included the three pro-EU groups: the Christian-Democrats, the Socialists and the Liberals. Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians call for stronger EU-China relations, but condemn China’s human rights records

A vast majority of Members of the European Parliament pushed through a non-legislative resolution calling for the deepening of EU-China relations and for promoting EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The resolution on EU-China relations was adopted by 554 votes in favour, 50 against and 99 abstentions. All the EU political groups voted in favour of the text with the exception of the majority of the far-right group of Marine Le Pen that opposed it and the Eurosceptic EFDD group and the Radical-left group GUE-NGL that abstained. Continue Reading

EP criticises the Hungarian government, but fails to reach consensus to request activation of rule of law clause

A non-binding resolution urging the EU to monitor the situation in Hungary as regards the threats to democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the country has been adopted by the EU Parliamentarians.

The motion expressed serious concerns regarding the measures taken in recent months that have made access to international protection very difficult, have criminalised refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, and urged the Hungarian Government to return to normal procedures and repeal emergency measures. Continue Reading

Last European Council summit of 2015: what’s on the agenda, who will take part and what is their power?

A very important European Council meeting will take place at the end of the week. This is the first EU Council after the tragic Paris terrorist attacks of 13 November and Member States representatives will discuss, among others, the counter-terrorism strategy, combating the financing of terrorism, preventing the radicalisation and information exchange.

Similarly, the EU leaders will discuss the refugee crisis, including migrants’ relocation, hotspots and security of the EU’s external borders. Continue Reading

Gains and losses of EP political groups in November’s plenary

During the plenary (or part-session) of the European Parliament that took place in late November we recorded some very interesting trends in the behavior of the political groups and which also explain the results of the votes. Here are just a few of them.

How cohesive has been each of the political groups?

For the second Strasbourg session in a row, the EPP group (with 216 members from 27 countries) has shown the greatest level of internal coordination. Continue Reading

The pro-security camp in the EP is reinforced, following the attacks in Paris. This might secure a majority in favour of the EU PNR agreement

A large majority of EU parliamentarians adopted the report drafted by the French EPP MEP Rachida Dati on the prevention of radicalisation and recruitment of European citizens by terrorist organisations. The vote is highly significant since it takes place just few days after the tragic Paris terrorist attacks that were perpetrated by radicalised EU citizens.

The resolution was adopted by 548 votes in favour, 110 against and 36 abstentions. Continue Reading