Unprecedented: S&D moves closer to an opposition role by rejecting the EU budget for 2018

In an unprecedented move, the Socialists and Democrats refused to back the EU budget for 2018. This gesture is a further step towards the realization of Gianni Pittella’s plan to gradually rebrand the group as an alternative to the policies by the centre-right wing EPP, which is the strongest political family in both the European Parliament and the European Council. Continue Reading

The uncertain path of S&D: grand coalition or progressive alliance?

Despite its repeatedly announced opposition to join another government led by Angela Merkel’s CDU, German SPD recently softened its position on the matter and agreed to participate in the negotiations for another grand coalition. This also highlights the difficult situation the Social Democratic family is facing in Europe. On one hand, S&D parties are trying to shift to the left in order to recover the lost popular consensus, while on the other hand, the increasing political instability and rise of Euroscepticism often lead them to join grand-coalitions with center-right parties, as a way of breaking domestic political deadlocks. Continue Reading

Update: Top 10 Most Influential Italian MEPs (September 2017)

Note: this country-based report is part of the broader study that measured the influence of MEPs from all 28 EU Members States. To consult the methodology and cross-country comparisons read the full “Who holds the power in the European Parliament? study.

Antonio Tajani, member of Forza Italia (EPP), is the most influential MEP in the European Parliament. He was elected President of the European Parliament at the beginning of the year. Continue Reading

UPDATED: Who holds the power in the European Parliament? Assessing the influence of individual MEPs

One year after the publication of our first assessment of the influence of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on EU policy-making, we are updating our findings in order to factor in the developments occurred over the last year. In this update, we also take into account the feedback that we received from our audience to improve the accuracy of our algorithm. Continue Reading

Can the new dynamics in the European Parliament save the EU in 2019?

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

Simulation: how can Tajani, Pittella or Verhofstadt become EP President?

The race for EP Presidency seems more open than usual with no clear winner in sight. If no “grand coalition” agreement will be reached beforehand, each MEP will cast his/her vote for one of the announced candidates.

To feed the interest in the race as a whole and the debate that will take place on Wednesday, we have made an in-depth simulation to find out who is the preferred candidate of each MEP. 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

MEPs’ deck of cards: who are the most influential ones?

A couple of weeks ago, VoteWatch Europe published an assessment of the most influential MEPs, which was based on a set of criteria weighted by more than 200 experts in EU Affairs. Drawing on that research, we designed a set of cards in order to highlight which are the most influential MEPs by activity. In fact, MEPs are influential in different ways and sometimes it might be very tricky to draw a comparison between their activities. Continue Reading

Manfred Weber (EPP) vs. Gianni Pitella (S&D): allies or rivals?

Manfred Weber and Gianni Pittella are the leaders of the two biggest political factions in the European Parliament, the groups of the European People’s Party and of the Socialists and Democrats, respectively.

Many observers have argued that there are few differences between the views of these two, a situation which acts as a disincentive for the European citizens to come to vote, since they can’t see why an option is better than the other. Continue Reading