by Sabina Varga, journalist and futurist
What does it take to be a citizen? If you take a citizenship test, you have to prove your knowledge of history, law, culture – and fulfill a few other requirements before joining the official ranks of a certain country. Alternatively, by simply being born on the territory of a country you can become a citizen by default.
Citizenship is something many of us take for granted. Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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