Vote on labour policy highlights political and national differences

Brexit will lead to a decrease in the support for a more flexible labour market across the European Union. In fact, over the decades, the British government opposed several EU initiatives aiming at stepping up worker protection, as they implied higher costs for businesses as a whole. The debates regarding the flexibility of the labour market have long haunted the different European institutions, which constantly hesitated about the positions they should adopt while trying to satisfy countries with heterogeneous views on the question. Continue Reading

What will the EU27 Governments and the EP Actually Want from Brexit?

The EU and UK have just started negotiating the Brexit deal, but the future status of the EU-UK relations is more uncertain than ever. Theresa May’s bid to increase her majority in the Parliament by calling snap elections backfired. Political uncertainty is shared by continental Europe, as Member States struggle to find a common direction to the future of the Union. Continue Reading

Future of Europe: Voting in Council Signals Possible Changes

This is another sign that things are moving. Decision-making in the Council has traditionally been seen as a process converging towards consensus, so that the final outcome satisfies everyone. However, Brexit and the discussions on the future of Europe do reveal that some differences between Member States are more difficult to reconcile than others.

The vote on how to address fraud against the EU budget has become a key sticking point, with some governments being less willing than others to support EU’s defence of its own financial interests. Continue Reading

France more likely than Germany to lead the EU Council after Brexit, voting records in the Council show

with special thanks to professor Simon Hix and research assistant Davide Ferrari

First published on July the 17th 2016, this article has been updated to take into account the latest political developments. 

While Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 today, on Wednesday, March 29, many observers wonder how the equilibrium of powers in the EU Council will change without the UK at the negotiations table. Continue Reading

Polish approach weakens V4’s leverage to influence the future of Europe

Right when the European unity is more vocally proclaimed around its 60th celebration, it was challenged once more during the latest European Council in Brussels, when Donald Tusk was re-elected as Council’s President. Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, voted against his compatriot’s appointment and was outvoted 27-1 by the other Member States.

The Polish government has been increasingly drifting away from the core of the EU during the past couple of years and this event will likely accelerate this trend. Continue Reading

Will Poland “sacrifice” Tusk’s EU Council presidency due to internal politics?

Tusk

by Łukasz Król and Doru Frantescu

Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (ECR), recently announced that he might not support Tusk for a second term as the President of the European Council (Tusk’s term ends in June 2017). Is this just a tactical move or will he really go all the way and withdraw support for his political rival?

Law and Justice has long called for deep reforms within the EU, which include a stronger Council, weaker Commission, and more power to individual member states. Continue Reading

Top 10 most influential Polish MEPs (September 2016)

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.

A member of the Conservative Law and Justice, Ryszard Czarnecki, is the best classified in our assessment on the most influential Polish politicians in the EP. 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

EU Parliamentarians back the opening of Rule of Law dialogue with Poland

Photo: European Parliament

EU parliamentarians overwhelming adopted a non-binding resolution calling on the Polish government to respect EU fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law.

The motion was approved by 513 MEPs, whereas 142 opposed and 30 abstained. The votes in favour came mainly from all the pro-EU groups, the Christian-Democrats (EPP), the Socialists (S&D), the Liberals (ALDE), the leftist group GUE/NGL and the Greens. Continue Reading

What allies can the Polish PiS government rely on in the European Parliament?

Poland PiS

Today, the Polish PM Beata Szydlo will debate with MEPs the developments in Poland since her party, Law and Justice, took power last year. The discussion promises to be tough as the Polish government confronts outspoken EU critics after it has passed a series of controversial measures, including Constitutional Court and media reforms. The adoption of an EP resolution was postponed until February, but parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, said he expects an “extremely lively discussion”. Continue Reading