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

For or Against? How European Parliamentarians Are Shaping the Future of the EU

Executive summary

In the context of the debate on the future of the EU, which was triggered by the Brexit referendum and the rise of nationalism, it is crucial for the European public to understand who shapes the plans for reforming the EU and what the views of these influencers are.

To this purpose, VoteWatch Europe looked into key parliamentary activities and the votes of the MEPs on a set of crucial decisions to assess who are the most influential MEPs on constitutional affairs and in which direction each MEP and political faction pulls.

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France: the decline of traditional parties and the rise of internet-based movements

The results of the French elections are yet another historical event in a very short time interval: for the first time since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, the two major political parties have been voted out of the race in the first round, something inconceivable until recently in a “politically conservative” country like France.

More broadly, the  French elections seem to be confirming a trend that we’re seeing elsewhere, ie. Continue Reading

How EU’s political dynamics impact China’s trade interests

The trade defense reform recently proposed by the European Commission is directly aiming at limiting Chinese exports to the EU, a creative way to avoid frontal collision with WTO regulations. This strategy has gained momentum especially after the Brexit referendum, as this is removing a key ally of China from the EU power game: the UK has been the most pro free-trade EU government and British leaders have fought, from inside the EU institutions, to block protectionist moves by the EU. Continue Reading

What is there in your dish? Regulation of nutrition choice divides EU policymakers

Alongside the more salient issues often mentioned by the media, such as trade, migration and economic policy, there are also other ways through which policy makers influence our quality of life. In this report, we tracked the positions of EU’s political forces on whether EU institutions should do more to regulate nutrition and food choice.

Additional labelling, limitations applied to certain products, as well as aid schemes for the supply of healthy food are different means of regulating the nutritional choices of consumers, with the purpose of helping them in prioritising healthier products over junk food. Continue Reading

Tints of Green: Who Influences Environmental Policy in the European Parliament and How?

*First published on the 21st of March, this the study has been updated to take into account the report 2013/0442(COD), which was initially left out of the study due to an inaccuracy of the Legislative Observatory of the European Parliament, which is an official website of the EU institution that tracks the  legislation (and which is thus independent from VoteWatch Europe). 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