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
The mid-term reshuffle of the key positions in the European Parliament was more than just switching individual MEPs from one position to another: it also resulted in significant gains and losses of influence among some national delegations.
The reshuffle entailed the elections of the new members of the EP bureau, the chairs and vice-chairs of the committees and the political coordinators of the groups (in each of the parliamentary committees). Continue Reading
Doru Frantescu is CEO and cofounder of VoteWatch Europe, the think tank most followed by the European Parliamentarians.
Many thought that 2016 was not the best year for the established liberal order and for the global trade. However, 2017 may not be much different, if some of the many political developments on the horizon go in the “wrong” direction. The political realignment in the European Parliament and the plethora of elections and possible referenda in key EU Member States will require continuous monitoring throughout the year. Continue Reading
On the 17th of January, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) elected Antonio Tajani as their new President (as predicted by a simulation run by VoteWatch a week before). Since then, many speculations have been made about him and his views. As the main collector of information concerning the activities of the European Parliamentarians, VoteWatch was asked by the public to release the records of Tajani’s votes on some key decisions made in the EP in the first half of the current term. Continue Reading
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
On Sunday morning, Beppe Grillo, the leader of the main Italian opposition party, the 5 Star Movement, made a shock announcement, indicating that he intends to join the European liberal family, ALDE. If that were to happen, the 5 Star Movement would become the dominating force in the ALDE group in the European Parliament, currently headed by the staunch federalist Guy Verhofstadt. Continue Reading
On Tuesday 13th, the EPP group elected its candidate for replacing Schulz at the helm of the European Parliament. A prominent member of Forza Italia, Antonio Tajani, received the mandate to run for the Presidency, after his candidature collected more votes than the other three contestants (Peterle, Lamassoure and McGuinness). On the 17th January, Tajani will have to face off the candidates presented by the other political groups. Continue Reading
The findings based on the factual analysis of the data are sometimes counter-intuitive to some. Since we started looking at the dynamics in the European Parliament in early 2009 we have revealed a number of state of facts which may have otherwise gone unnoticed. One of these is the fact that, in certain circumstances, it is not only the size of a parliamentary group that is instrumental in pushing through decisions of one’s choice. When none of the political groups holds a majority and the balance of power between the two big blocks at the left and the right is almost equal, the small groups may make the difference. This is particularly the case of the small group(s) who have a high coalition potential, i.e. who find it easy to swing between the center-left and the center-right.
In the case of the European Parliament, this parliamentary group is ALDE. One year after the elections, ALDE seems to have got back in its kingmaker seat at the table of the European Parliament. Although only 4th biggest now, ALDE has won more votes in the EP plenary than any other group. It is closely followed by the two ‘giants’, EPP and S&D, while the rest of the groups are far behind.