Czech Elections 2017: MEPs Predict the Future Stance of Prague in International Relations

Confidence in the future of the EU is fragile. While there is renewed optimism due to the defeat of Eurosceptic parties in the Netherlands, France, Germany and Austria, the ongoing Brexit negotiations fuel the anti-establishment voices, including that of the frontrunner to become the next Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš.

 “Europe is a great project. But European politicians should seriously ask why the UK is leaving. Continue Reading

Czech Elections 2017: Exclusive Interview with Pavel Svoboda (KDU-ČSL – EPP)

Pavel Svoboda, the 2nd most influential Czech MEP is member of the Christian and Democratic Union– Czechoslovak People’s Party (EPP). Svoboda is the Chair of Committee on Legal Affairs. He drafted reports on several issues, such as the limitation periods for traffic accidents and a report on the verification of credentials. Read the full influence assessment and find out who shapes the power in the European Parliament.  Continue Reading

Czech Elections 2017: Exclusive Interview with Pavel Poc (ČSSD – S&D)

Pavel Poc, member of the Czech Social Democratic Party (S&D), is the fourth most influential Czech MEP in the VoteWatch influence assessment. Former biologist and policy expert on environmental issues in Czechia, Poc is is one of the Vice-Chairs of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee. Because of his commitment to environmental protection, Poc chairs the “Climate change, sustainable development and biodiversity” intergroup. Continue Reading

Czech Elections 2017: Exclusive Interview with Kateřina Konečná (KSČM – GUE/NGL)

Kateřina Konečná, member of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (GUE/NGL), is a former Deputy of the Parliament of the Czech Republic. She is a member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.  She drafted a report on palm oil and deforestation of rainforests, as well as a recommendation on amending the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer. Continue Reading

Is Belgium’s Internal Divide Reflected in European Politics?

The Walloons are from Venus, the Flemish from Mars. Is it true what they say? Are the Belgians divided, and if yes, is this reflected when they take part in decisions made at the EU level? This report provides a comparative perspective of the positions taken by Belgian EU Parliamentarians on key issues voted recently in the European Parliament.

Please note that this is not a survey: we took into account the actual decisions made by Belgian MEPs, not merely opinions or carefully crafted political statements. Continue Reading

How EU’s political dynamics impact China’s trade interests

The trade defense reform recently proposed by the European Commission is directly aiming at limiting Chinese exports to the EU, a creative way to avoid frontal collision with WTO regulations. This strategy has gained momentum especially after the Brexit referendum, as this is removing a key ally of China from the EU power game: the UK has been the most pro free-trade EU government and British leaders have fought, from inside the EU institutions, to block protectionist moves by the EU. Continue Reading

Will 2017 bring a new EU and world order?

If you think that 2016 was a dynamic year politically-wise, wait until you see the new year unfolding. The changes that will take place in the US and Europe will gradually reshape the currents of opinion globally and hence the patterns of international relations. Geo-political realignments will affect world governance, trade, businesses, economies and societies. Continue Reading

Survey results: how does Brexit impact on EU initiatives and politicians?

There is a lot of uncertainty about how Brexit will impact on the current EU initiatives and its highest level politicians. Various officials are trying to spin the narrative so that they can leverage Brexit to back their agendas. But will this work? How will Brexit actually influence the commitments to the EU integration of the remaining Member States? How will it affect TTIP negotiations, the REFIT, digital single market, or the relations with Russia and China? Continue Reading

The European and national politics behind China’s market economy status

The European Parliament has recently said “no” to granting market economy status (MES) to China. At the final vote, 84% of its Members backed the EP document, which made it look to the outsiders like there is a broad consensus against MES for China. However, a closer look at the actual text adopted and on how MEPs voted on key amendments shows a much more nuanced picture by country and political family. Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians call for stronger EU-China relations, but condemn China’s human rights records

A vast majority of Members of the European Parliament pushed through a non-legislative resolution calling for the deepening of EU-China relations and for promoting EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

The resolution on EU-China relations was adopted by 554 votes in favour, 50 against and 99 abstentions. All the EU political groups voted in favour of the text with the exception of the majority of the far-right group of Marine Le Pen that opposed it and the Eurosceptic EFDD group and the Radical-left group GUE-NGL that abstained. Continue Reading