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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Exclusive interview with MEP Ludvigsson: what role for Sweden in tomorrow’s EU?

The decision by the UK to leave the European Union has put Sweden, one of its main partners, in an awkward position. As highlighted by our previous report on Nordic countries, Swedish policymakers are not particularly enthusiastic about the Franco-German acceleration towards a multi-speed Europe, in particular when it comes to the Defence Union and the deepening of the Monetary Union. Continue Reading

The policy implications of the proposed post-Brexit seats redistribution in the European Parliament

Given the upcoming UK withdrawal from the European Union, EU Parliamentarians are scrambling to share the spoils, namely the British seats in the European Parliament. The current draft proposal by the EP Committee on Constitutional Affairs aims at redistributing 27 UK seats to 14 currently under-represented EU countries and keeping the remaining 46 UK seats as a reserve for potential pan-European lists and future EU enlargement. Continue Reading

Interview: Co-Chair of the Greens/EFA Ska Keller on the future of Europe

The European Greens are at a crossroads. Green parties are struggling to counter the rise of right-wing parties across the continent and put environmental protection back to the forefront of the political agenda of EU Member States.  Their closest partners, the Social Democrats, are also losing power in most countries, as they were not in the position to capitalize on the backlash against economic and social globalization. Continue Reading

Opinion piece – “EU Nutrition and Health Policy: Who is in the driving seat?”

By Olivier Devaux, Senior Public Affairs and Communications Manager at the European Snacks Association. 

This piece reflects the views of the European Snacks Association and not necessarily those of VoteWatch Europe


Observers will all agree with the fact that the European Union (EU) is at a turning point. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary January 2018

The Politics behind EU Policy Making

Energy, environment and fisheries are three of the areas where the EU Parliamentarians have made key decisions during the first EP plenary of 2018. As always, we kept track of who voted for what, who won and who lost. This report highlights the most controversial issues, the oddest voting behaviors of MEPs and the strangest bedfellows occurred during the January part-session. Continue Reading

Interview: EU budget rapporteur Siegfried Mureşan on the future of EU money

Negotiations on the EU budget are not the easiest, in particular at a time of rising political fragmentation and polarization. For the first time ever, the yearly EU budget did not draw the support of the second largest political family in the European Parliament, the Socialist and Democrats. Still, a centre-to-the-right majority of policymakers managed to push the 2018 budget through the plenary of the EP. Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland? Part 3: Economic prospects for Britain’s weakest region

Photo courtesy of Scotty Photography

Part three of a three-part report (missed the first part of the report? You can find it here. Second part is available here.)

By Sean McLaughlin

Any views in this report reflect the views of the author, not of VoteWatch Europe

It is often a pleasant flight across the Irish sea over to Northern Ireland. Patchy clouds give way to lush green land. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary December 2017

Highlights of this ‘Christmas edition':

– ‘United Front for the Salvation of the Single Market’ shapes up (i.e. for a tough position on Brexit negotiations) across the EU political forces;

– French EU Parliamentarians lead the opposition to a proposed pan-European broadcasting of TV shows and movies;

– The ‘anti-kebab’ coalition loses battle to ban an additive from this popular dish by just 4 votes – some German EU parliamentarians have been decisive in swinging the vote around;

– the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta were 1 vote close to be considered tax heavens. Continue Reading