Bad news for Macron, as majority of policymakers opposed transnational lists for EP elections

This was a bad plenary session for the French President, Emmanuel Macron. One of his key proposals, namely using some of the remaining British seats in order to establish to a pan-European electoral constituency for future EP elections, was rejected by a small majority of MEPs (54%). In particular, the proposal was blocked by the staunch opposition of the European People’s Party that labelled it as a “centralist and elitist artificial construct”. Continue Reading

What lies behind Catalan MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras’ loyalty to his political group?

Our analysis of striking voting behavior in the European Parliament continues. After the ‘unusual’ cases of Sirpa Pietikäinen and Claude Rolin, we now take a look at the positions taken by EU Parliamentarians whose voting choices diverge so little from the official lines of their political groups that it might raise some questions.

Indeed, as we previously pointed out, MEPs exist and vote beyond the political groups in which they seat. Continue Reading

Who is the favourite to become the next President of the European Parliament?

On Tuesday 13th, the EPP group elected its candidate for replacing Schulz at the helm of the European Parliament. A prominent member of Forza Italia, Antonio Tajani, received the mandate to run for the Presidency, after his candidature collected more votes than the other three contestants (Peterle, Lamassoure and McGuinness). On the 17th January, Tajani will have to face off the candidates presented by the other political groups. Continue Reading

How would Fillon’s France change European policy?

by Doru Frantescu and Awenig Marie, with thanks to Davide Ferrari

This is a time of deep political uncertainty in most of the EU’s member states. The British are still to decide their link to Europe, Italians have just ousted their PM, Spaniards are experiencing the hurdles of their first coalition government after prolonged stalemate, while the Polish are redrawing the roles of their own institutions away from Europe. Continue Reading

Why Central Asia is a key area for the EU during Trump’s America

The astonishing result of the recent American Presidential election still reverberates across Europe and the World. Donald Trump has been seen by most foreign policy experts as an isolationist, who will (partially) withdraw the US from the realm of international diplomacy. Some European leaders have immediately indicated that this is a clear signal that the EU should get its act together and start to exert real leadership at a global level. Continue Reading

Why Schulz’s return to Germany is good for the European Union

A President of the European Parliament goes back to national politics. Martin Schulz has spent 22 years in EU politics, being contemporary with events that have torn apart Europe. He experienced the adoption of euro, the failure of the Constitutional Treaty, as well as the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, the Greek debt crises, the migration crisis, Brexit and rise of nationalism in Europe. Continue Reading

[Update] Who will replace Schulz?

Note: this analysis, originally published in October, was updated to take into account the latest developments up to 24 November 2016.

Who will replace Schulz ?

The decision by Martin Schulz not to seek a third mandate as the President of the European Parliament cast uncertainty on the future direction of the institution. The top European People’s Party and Socialists leaders might have felt comfortable keeping Schulz as EP President, while Tusk is reelected Council President next year, in order to avoid rocking the European boat during these difficult times. Continue Reading

Comparing the positions of the Hungarian Government and Hungarian parties in the EP on symbolic European issues

Executive Summary

The purpose of this joint study of VoteWatch and Policy Solutions is to examine the voting patterns of Hungarian Members of the European Parliament in order to figure out whether Hungarian political parties have the same positions on key issues in both Brussels and Budapest.

For this reason, we explored how Hungarian MEPs voted in the European Parliament using VoteWatch.eu and compared it to their respective national party’s position by using Policy Solutions. Continue Reading

(Update) What chances for a real European Common Security and Defense Policy?

Note: this analysis, originally published in September, was updated to take into account the latest developments up to 17 November 2016.

Last evening, Doru Frantescu, the Director& cofounder of VoteWatch Europe, delivered an insightful presentation at an event hosted by the Union of European Federalists, where he analysed the chances of building a real European Defense Union.   Continue Reading

What future for Italian political parties? Comparison of voting behaviour in the European and Italian Parliament

This study has been undertaken jointly by VoteWatch Europe and Elif Lab

 

(Click here for the version in Italian)

The Italian referendum on Constitutional reform is likely to reshape the politics of one EU’s biggest countries, whichever way the result goes. This will also have a substantial impact on Europe as a whole.

In the run-up to the Italian constitutional referendum, political observers are trying to forecast the potential developments in case of a defeat of the Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, in particular regarding the future alliances between Italian parties. Continue Reading