with special thanks to professor Simon Hix and research assistant Davide Ferrari
First published on July the 17th 2016, this article has been updated to take into account the latest political developments.
While Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 today, on Wednesday, March 29, many observers wonder how the equilibrium of powers in the EU Council will change without the UK at the negotiations table. Continue Reading
Mainstream parties seem to make one miscalculation after another, always underestimating the risk of political turmoil in several of our countries. Renzi had to resign, plunging Italy into uncertainty and thus adding weight to the centrifugal spinning that has already pushed away the UK, Greece, Poland or Hungary. France and the Netherlands are not far behind, as nationalists are topping the polls ahead of key elections in spring next year. Continue Reading
Note: this country-based report is part of the broader study that measured the influence of MEPs from all 28 EU Members States. To consult the methodology and cross-country comparisons read the full “Who holds the power in the European Parliament?” study.
Othmar Karas is the most influential Austrian MEP in the EP. The member of the Austrian People’s Party (EPP) is a veteran in the European Parliament. Continue Reading
After a passionate two-day scrutiny, Alexander Van Der Bellen (supported by the Greens) narrowly defeated his far-right wing opponent, Norbert Hofer (Freedom Party of Austria), therefore becoming the new Austrian President (50,3% vs 49,7%). Notably, the ecologist candidate only managed to win thanks to the postal votes counted today, whereas yesterday night the anti-EU Hofer was leading by some 144.000 votes. Continue Reading
Despite lengthy negotiations and the optimism of the top-level political elites in Hannover, the fate of TTIP is far from certain. The on-going revelations based on leaked documents were meant to give an important blow to the negotiations. Their real impact on the public opinion will be measurable in the coming weeks, while on the medium-term crucial electoral contests are looming ahead. Continue Reading
Radio France Internationale
Radio interview of our Director Doru Frantescu about the dramatic result of the elections in Austria, where the far-right anti-EU candidate came 1st in presidential elections. None of the candidates of the pro-EU mainstream parties made it to the “final”, a situation he predicted and drew attention to in a report 2 weeks ago. Continue Reading
A political earthquake shook Austria yesterday evening, when the far-right anti-EU candidate Norbert Hofer received about 36% of the votes, trumping every other candidate by more than 10 points. Coming just 2 weeks after the referendum in the Netherlands that rejected the EU-Ukraine agreement, this is likely to impact on the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and other trade agreements, at a time when President Obama, Angela Merkel and other European leaders are trying to build a favourable momentum in Hannover. Continue Reading
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Austrians will vote for a new President on April 24. The race is very tight, as the migration crisis is substantially impacting on the national political landscape. A victory of a candidate from outside the current grand-coalition would seriously undermine the governmental policies. The nationalist anti-immigration and anti-EU FPÖ is on the rise and pushes hard to be part of a future government. Continue Reading
The influence in the European politics is determined by many factors, some of which are less transparent or very hard to measure objectively. But one of them that can be quantified objectively is the participation in the votes in the European Parliament. At the end of the day, the EU legislation has to pass through the EP plenary and, as in any democratic decision-making mechanism, the decisions are made by a vote. Continue Reading
As the UK General Elections are getting close and the EU-UK relations are one of the main topics of the electoral campaign, we looked into the decisions of the Council to see, factually, what exactly divides the UK and the other Member States and to what extent this impacts on EU policy making. Continue Reading