What shall become of Northern Ireland? The economic challenges of Britain’s weakest region

Belfast City Hall: Photo courtesy of Scotty Photography

“Caught between a hub and a large place” –

Part two of a three-part report (missed the first part of the report? You can find it here)

By Sean McLaughlin

Any views in this report reflect the views of the author, not of VoteWatch Europe

The Victorian period saw the glory days of the Northern Irish Economy. Continue Reading

INTERVIEW – Vălean: ‘EU should take the lead in the fight against climate change’

Half a year into the job of presiding over one of the most influential committees of the European Parliament, the one that legislates environmental (and energy) policy, MEP Adina Vălean feels that the EU can do more to lead the world into becoming truly environmentally-friendly. However, in this exclusive interview to VoteWatch, Vălean also explains how a two-speed Europe could weaken EU’s environmental ambitions and leverage on the global stage.  Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland post-Brexit? Part 1: Politics in Britain’s most fragile region

The Northern Ireland Assembly in Stormont, Belfast. Photo is courtesy of the author.

By Sean McLaughlin

Any views in this report reflect the views of the author, not of VoteWatch Europe

Whilst a return to Northern Ireland’s bleak past is unlikely, Brexit disorders hard-won political settlements in “the province”. A hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic should be avoided at all costs. Continue Reading

Fintech: how the new EU Capital Markets Union (CMU) could overshadow London

The consequences of Brexit are yet to come. What will happen to FinTech companies after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union? The majority of these start-ups mixing finance and technology are currently located in the UK. They are likely to lose passporting rights after Brexit, obliging them to move part of their operations to mainland Europe if they want to secure access to the EU’s single market. 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

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

Dieselgate: British MEPs decisive on rejecting new EU supervisory agency

Dieselgate proved to be a highly contentious matter when debated in the European Parliament this week. The vote on the report of the special inquiry committee, set up after the accusations that car-maker Volkswagen used software to cheat diesel pollution controls, has revealed the variety of views among the EU decision-makers on the matter.

The report, ultimately approved by a majority of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), makes some concrete proposals, such as the simplification of air quality legislation at the European Union level, tighter surveillance controls, and the financial compensation of European car buyers. Continue Reading

Top 8 effects of Brexit on the future EU policies

This report looks at the impact of Brexit from a fresh angle, digging into how the direction of the EU policies is likely to change in the absence of the UK representatives from the EU decision-making bodies. Our research combines expert insights with big political data that captures the actual voting records of representatives of all 28 Member States in the EU institutions in recent years.  Continue Reading

Can the new dynamics in the European Parliament save the EU in 2019?

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

How will the new Romanian government impact the EU?

Against the background of rising nationalism in many Member States, the 7th largest EU member and the fastest growing EU economy in 2016 (5.2%), Romania, held its parliamentary elections this Sunday. The Social-Democrats (S&D) won by a landslide, taking advantage of the fragmentation and lack of a clear message by the center-right camp.

While no proper anti-EU party made it into the new Parliament, nationalistic sentiments do exist within the ranks of the winning party and the elections’ results do indicate a shift in the policies of Bucharest’s next government, which is more likely to play hard ball in Brussels than the outgoing one. Continue Reading