VoteWatch Seminar: The Multiannual Financial Framework and Its Politics

An Analytical Look at the Future of the EU Budget

In the next couple of years, the European Institutions and the Member States are going to be busy debating the next Multiannual Financial Framework, ie the financial programming and budgetary discipline of the seven years period between 2021 and 2028.

This is a fundamental political discussion: by defining in which areas the EU should invest, the MFF is an expression of political priorities as much as a budgetary planning tool. Continue Reading

Interview: China’s long shadow over EU-Taiwan relations

by Hsiao-Chiang (Jeff) Hsu – Business Development Assistant at VoteWatch Europe

Despite the absence of formal diplomatic relationships with Taiwan, the EU has established solid relations with the first democratic country in East Asia over the past decades. Economic relations between the two partners are particularly close and dynamic: Taiwan is currently the EU’s fourth largest trading partner in Asia and the EU is Taiwan’s fourth largest export market. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary March 2018

Another plenary session, another special VoteWatch Europe report on the most controversial issues, the oddest voting behavior of EU Parliamentarians (MEPs) and the strangest bedfellows occurred in Strasbourg.

This time around, MEPs took a stance on whether EU countries infringing on the EU fundamental values should face financial consequences, whether new sources of revenue for the EU coffers should be introduced, as well as the controversial introduction of a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base at the EU level. Continue Reading

Survey results: What will happen in 2019 – pivotal year for the EU?

The findings of our latest survey among EU professionals reveal interesting expectations regarding the changes to take place in 2019. The EU affairs community largely expects the EPP to win the elections next year, but also to be the first political family to propose a leading candidate for the elections (spitzenkandidat). Eurosceptic forces are expected to stand strong, despite the departure of the British UKIP. Continue Reading

3 moves smart stakeholders should make ahead of 2019 – Brexit and EU elections year

With just over a year to go, the European Union will experience in 2019 one of its biggest transformations since the 2004 enlargement, as the UK is scheduled to leave in March, while the next European elections will take place in May. These two major political events, combined with a potentially stronger populist campaign led by Eurosceptic parties and a new pro-European movement spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, will surely turn European politics into a new page. Continue Reading

Exclusive interview with MEP Ludvigsson: what role for Sweden in tomorrow’s EU?

The decision by the UK to leave the European Union has put Sweden, one of its main partners, in an awkward position. As highlighted by our previous report on Nordic countries, Swedish policymakers are not particularly enthusiastic about the Franco-German acceleration towards a multi-speed Europe, in particular when it comes to the Defence Union and the deepening of the Monetary Union. Continue Reading

The policy implications of the proposed post-Brexit seats redistribution in the European Parliament

Given the upcoming UK withdrawal from the European Union, EU Parliamentarians are scrambling to share the spoils, namely the British seats in the European Parliament. The current draft proposal by the EP Committee on Constitutional Affairs aims at redistributing 27 UK seats to 14 currently under-represented EU countries and keeping the remaining 46 UK seats as a reserve for potential pan-European lists and future EU enlargement. Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland? Part 3: Economic prospects for Britain’s weakest region

Photo courtesy of Scotty Photography

Part three of a three-part report (missed the first part of the report? You can find it here. Second part is available here.)

By Sean McLaughlin

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


It is often a pleasant flight across the Irish sea over to Northern Ireland. Patchy clouds give way to lush green land. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary December 2017

Highlights of this ‘Christmas edition':

– ‘United Front for the Salvation of the Single Market’ shapes up (i.e. for a tough position on Brexit negotiations) across the EU political forces;

– French EU Parliamentarians lead the opposition to a proposed pan-European broadcasting of TV shows and movies;

– The ‘anti-kebab’ coalition loses battle to ban an additive from this popular dish by just 4 votes – some German EU parliamentarians have been decisive in swinging the vote around;

– the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Ireland and Malta were 1 vote close to be considered tax heavens. Continue Reading

What shall become of Northern Ireland? Part 2: 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