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

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

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

Profile: Valean, the new ENVI chair, what does she stand for?

The change of leadership at the helm of the Environment and Public Health Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament is by far the move with the greatest direct impact on policy that took place during the reshuffle. As EP insiders know, ENVI is one of the committees that deals with the biggest number of legislative / binding decisions. Moreover, the environment-related subjects are also the most disputed files in the EP: a measurement by VoteWatch Europe indicates that it is on environment where the EPP and the S&D vote against each other the most (about half of the time, compared to only 24% overall). Continue Reading

Can the new dynamics in the European Parliament save the EU in 2019?

As our simulation predicted a week ago, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT) won the elections to become President of the European Parliament in the run-off against his compatriot Gianni Pittella (S&D). In addition to the expected support from the ECR, the centre-right candidate secured the support of the Liberal group (ALDE), after the signing of a new coalition between EPP and ALDE that aims at relaunching the European project. Continue Reading

Simulation: how can Tajani, Pittella or Verhofstadt become EP President?

The race for EP Presidency seems more open than usual with no clear winner in sight. If no “grand coalition” agreement will be reached beforehand, each MEP will cast his/her vote for one of the announced candidates.

To feed the interest in the race as a whole and the debate that will take place on Wednesday, we have made an in-depth simulation to find out who is the preferred candidate of each MEP. Continue Reading

Briefing: Take-aways from yesterday’s vote on transparency in the European Parliament

The Members of the European Parliament have voted yesterday to change their rules of procedure in an effort to make the parliamentary activity more efficient, but also more transparent (the Corbett report). However, the report was fiercely disputed and in some cases some MEPs opposed making the decisions more open to the public. Among the topics voted upon were the secrecy of voting, the second jobs of the MEPs and regulating the meetings with lobbyists. Continue Reading

Who are the most influential MEPs on energy policy?

The European Commission has just launched its new legislative (Winter) package that will substantially reform the energy market of the European Union. However, in order for these ideas to be transposed into actual EU law, they must first pass through the democratic filter of the European Parliament and the Council. This analysis looks into who are the Members of the European Parliament that are currently exerting the greatest influence on energy-related issues and who are likely to be the spearheads in shaping the newly released dossiers. Continue Reading

Why Schulz’s return to Germany is good for the European Union

A President of the European Parliament goes back to national politics. Martin Schulz has spent 22 years in EU politics, being contemporary with events that have torn apart Europe. He experienced the adoption of euro, the failure of the Constitutional Treaty, as well as the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the Greek debt crises, the migration crisis, Brexit and rise of nationalism in Europe. Continue Reading

(Update) What chances for a real European Common Security and Defense Policy?

Note: this analysis, originally published in September, was updated to take into account the latest developments up to 17 November 2016.

Last evening, Doru Frantescu, the Director& cofounder of VoteWatch Europe, delivered an insightful presentation at an event hosted by the Union of European Federalists, where he analysed the chances of building a real European Defense Union.   Continue Reading