While most of the attention during last week’s EP plenary was focused on President Juncker’s speech, several other important (and under-the-radar) developments caught our attention, which will make the object of this report. At VoteWatch we focus on concrete facts (ie. decisions made), rather than promises or broad statements: we combine our statistical expertise and qualitative political insight to provide the most accurate (and non-partisan) reporting of EU politics’ trends. Continue Reading
The mid-term reshuffle of the key positions in the European Parliament was more than just switching individual MEPs from one position to another: it also resulted in significant gains and losses of influence among some national delegations.
The reshuffle entailed the elections of the new members of the EP bureau, the chairs and vice-chairs of the committees and the political coordinators of the groups (in each of the parliamentary committees). Continue Reading
The change of leadership at the helm of the Environment and Public Health Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament is by far the move with the greatest direct impact on policy that took place during the reshuffle. As EP insiders know, ENVI is one of the committees that deals with the biggest number of legislative / binding decisions. Moreover, the environment-related subjects are also the most disputed files in the EP: a measurement by VoteWatch Europe indicates that it is on environment where the EPP and the S&D vote against each other the most (about half of the time, compared to only 24% overall). Continue Reading
Doru Frantescu is CEO and cofounder of VoteWatch Europe, the think tank most followed by the European Parliamentarians.
Many thought that 2016 was not the best year for the established liberal order and for the global trade. However, 2017 may not be much different, if some of the many political developments on the horizon go in the “wrong” direction. The political realignment in the European Parliament and the plethora of elections and possible referenda in key EU Member States will require continuous monitoring throughout the year. Continue Reading
On the 17th of January, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) elected Antonio Tajani as their new President (as predicted by a simulation run by VoteWatch a week before). Since then, many speculations have been made about him and his views. As the main collector of information concerning the activities of the European Parliamentarians, VoteWatch was asked by the public to release the records of Tajani’s votes on some key decisions made in the EP in the first half of the current term. Continue Reading
As our simulation predicted a week ago, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT) won the elections to become President of the European Parliament in the run-off against his compatriot Gianni Pittella (S&D). In addition to the expected support from the ECR, the centre-right candidate secured the support of the Liberal group (ALDE), after the signing of a new coalition between EPP and ALDE that aims at relaunching the European project. 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
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 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
VoteWatch Europe quoted in the EU Observer:
15 January 2016
The stage is set for “carnage” in the European Parliament on Tuesday (19 January), when the Polish PM, Beata Szydlo, confronts her government’s most outspoken EU critics.
The debate comes after the European Commisson, this week, launched an unprecedented inquiry into Polish costitutional and media reforms.