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

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