What future for the ALDE group: the internal divisions and the potential transformations of the kingmaker of the EP

Because of its central position within the political spectrum, ALDE/ADLE is currently the main kingmaker in the EP. The positions adopted by this political group are often decisive in swinging the outcome of votes, when the two largest groups (EPP and S&D) are in disagreement. For example, this is often the case with regards to environmental policy, where the two largest EU political families are backing different regulatory approaches. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary Late October 2017

The EU parliamentary session of late October 2017 was definitely rich in political developments. Politicians fought over who should get how much of the EU money, over the rules for fertilisers and, in an interesting turn of events, a majority ultimately agreed to a prolongation of the use of glyphosate.  Each of the new rules on the protection of whistle-blowers was fought tooth and nail, with just a few votes making the difference every time. Continue Reading

Czech Elections 2017: Exclusive Interview with Dita Charanzová (ANO 2011-ALDE)

Dita Charanzová, member of ANO 2011 (ALDE/ADLE), is the third most influential Czech MEP in the VoteWatch influence assessment. She is one of the Vice-Chairs of Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the political coordinator of her political group in the same committee. She drafted reports on important pieces of legislation, such as the report on accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies, as well as the report on simplification of the transfer of motor vehicles registered in other Member States. Continue Reading

What can the EU expect from the German federal election?

The future of many EU policies largely depends on the outcome of German election in September. Indeed, the potential end of the grand coalition, made up of the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats, could alter the position of Berlin on issues such as the EU defence policy and the future of the Eurozone.

According to its supporters, the grand coalition brought harmony and balance to German politics. Continue Reading

What will the EU27 Governments and the EP Actually Want from Brexit?

The EU and UK have just started negotiating the Brexit deal, but the future status of the EU-UK relations is more uncertain than ever. Theresa May’s bid to increase her majority in the Parliament by calling snap elections backfired. Political uncertainty is shared by continental Europe, as Member States struggle to find a common direction to the future of the Union. Continue Reading

Future of Europe: Voting in Council Signals Possible Changes

This is another sign that things are moving. Decision-making in the Council has traditionally been seen as a process converging towards consensus, so that the final outcome satisfies everyone. However, Brexit and the discussions on the future of Europe do reveal that some differences between Member States are more difficult to reconcile than others.

The vote on how to address fraud against the EU budget has become a key sticking point, with some governments being less willing than others to support EU’s defence of its own financial interests. Continue Reading

Interview: What Do Trends Reveal about the Future of the EU?

Doru Peter Frantescu is co-founder and CEO of VoteWatch Europe. His data-driven reports on the actual voting behavior of Parliamentarians and Governments in the EU decision-making have been quoted by reputed institutions and the media in over 35 countries on 5 continents.

In a panel this week at the European Business Summit and an interview with Euronews, he spoke about the directions in which we can expect the EU to go, applying the current trends revealed by the processing of actual decision-making data (as opposed to carefully-crafted political statements) to the events expected between now and the end of 2019. Continue Reading

Who Are The Most Influential Belgian EU Parliamentarians?

In order to strengthen democratic processes in the European Union, it is crucial to understand what the representatives of the citizens at the EU level, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), stand for and how successful they are in shaping the Union’s policies. VoteWatch Europe used the big political data and experts’ insights to assess Belgian MEPs’ influence Continue Reading

Is Belgium’s Internal Divide Reflected in European Politics?

The Walloons are from Venus, the Flemish from Mars. Is it true what they say? Are the Belgians divided, and if yes, is this reflected when they take part in decisions made at the EU level? This report provides a comparative perspective of the positions taken by Belgian EU Parliamentarians on key issues voted recently in the European Parliament.

Please note that this is not a survey: we took into account the actual decisions made by Belgian MEPs, not merely opinions or carefully crafted political statements. Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians strongly divided over chemical regulation

Chemicals are everywhere in today’s society, ranging from the food we eat to the clothes we wear and the European Commission actively proposes regulation in this field. However, the final decisions by the European institutions are also based on political considerations, in addition to the technical assessments. The European Parliament plays a big role on regulation of chemicals as it can allow or block the authorization of these products. Continue Reading