Movers and shakers of EU politics – June 2018

While the summer break is just behind the corner, the hectic political debate in Brussels shows no sign of abating. In fact, the upcoming year will bring about a series of brand new changes: a new balance of power in the EP following the elections in May 2019, a new leadership of the EU institutions, and the (tentative) finalization of the Brexit negotiations. At the same time, EU decision-makers are expected to make progress on the proposed reforms of the Eurozone governance, the EU asylum system and the ambitious proposals for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework, among many other hot issues. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of EU politics – June 2018 (NATO, posting of drivers, etc)

During June’s plenary session, MEPs took key decisions on the future rules for the workers in the road transportation sector, the future cooperation between the EU and NATO, and debated Rutte’s plans for the future of Europe.

As always, our special report highlights the most disputed issues, who made coalitions with whom, who won and who lost, the oddest voting behavior of EU Parliamentarians (MEPs) and the strangest bedfellows that occurred in Strasbourg. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of EU politics – May 2018 (MFF, CAP, etc)

Who gets what from the EU money, the regulation of the labour market, mandatory labelling, subsidies for farming (CAP) and a new investment fund for the Eurozone were the chief topics on which continental political forces fought during the latest plenary session of the European Parliament.

In the key showdown, MEPs  took a stand on the Commission’s proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary February 2018

This plenary session was clearly dominated by the debate on how to share the spoils after the British MEPs vacate their seats in 2019. The key event was the failed initiative to establish a joint constituency with transnational lists for the upcoming EP elections. On the other hand, most EU Parliamentarians renewed their support for the Spitzenkandidaten process and threatened to reject any other potential candidate to the Presidency of the European Commission. Continue Reading

Bad news for Macron, as majority of policymakers opposed transnational lists for EP elections

This was a bad plenary session for the French President, Emmanuel Macron. One of his key proposals, namely using some of the remaining British seats in order to establish to a pan-European electoral constituency for future EP elections, was rejected by a small majority of MEPs (54%). In particular, the proposal was blocked by the staunch opposition of the European People’s Party that labelled it as a “centralist and elitist artificial construct”. Continue Reading

Could Macron join ALDE?

‘‘European Liberals seek champion for upcoming elections’’ would not be out of place among the latest job openings on the website of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). For the European centrist family, it is indeed crucial to lead a decisive campaign in 2019 to gain weight on the European stage and to finally emerge as a leading force rather than remaining stuck between the right-leaning EPP and the left leaning S&D. Continue Reading

Is Belgian MEP Rolin actually more progressive than his political group, the EPP?

As our previous report on the ‘unusual’ voting behavior of the Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen showcased, the positions taken by EU Parliamentarians sometimes diverge from the official lines of their political groups.

Indeed, the political affiliation of MEPs is not the only factor that shapes their voting behavior. There are many other factors that influence MEPs’ behavior, such as their nationality, personal background and beliefs. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary November 2017

The latest plenary session of the European Parliament featured heated Parliamentary debates, “odd” voting behavior by EU Parliamentarians (MEPs) and European groups splitting on the most controversial issues. This report highlights the political dynamics underlying the most important decisions from the November EP plenary session, revealing how political groups and individual EU Parliamentarians aimed at shaping these decisions. Continue Reading

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