French EU Republicans back Fillon’s harder stance on Ukraine

The representatives of the French Republicans in the EU institutions seem to have adjusted their position on Ukraine to be in line with the campaign rhetoric of Francois Fillon, their candidate running in the race for the Presidency of France which will hold its first round of elections on 23 April.

In an unusual move, the EU Parliamentarians of “Les Republicans” (LR) abstained in a vote in the European Parliament that approved visa exemptions for Ukrainian citizens. Continue Reading

What do Tajani and his supporters stand for?

© European Union 2017 РSource : EP
http://audiovisual.europarl.europa.eu/

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

Will 2017 bring a new EU and world order?

If you think that 2016 was a dynamic year politically-wise, wait until you see the new year unfolding. The changes that will take place in the US and Europe will gradually reshape the currents of opinion globally and hence the patterns of international relations. Geo-political realignments will affect world governance, trade, businesses, economies and societies. 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

EU votes to step up measures to counter Russia’s propaganda, but Southern Europeans do not agree

Over the last couple of weeks, the position of Russia on the world stage has considerably strengthened. Not only the new President-elected of the US, Donald Trump, advocates for closer relations with Putin’s country, but also pro-Russian forces are getting stronger in Europe: in Moldova and Bulgaria, candidates who want closer ties with Russia won the Presidential elections, whereas in Estonia, the main pro-Russian party just joined the government. 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

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

Impact of Trump on Europe: first thoughts

Donald Trump is now president-elect, which means he is no longer playing a character. At least not the one that he thought was needed to play in order to gain the votes. Now, he has to act according to a different script.

The United States are a stable democracy with strong institutions which keep each other in check. Hence, we should not expect sudden dramatic developments. In order to forecast what the US policies will actually be during the next 4 years, we have to wait and see what the agreements between Trump and Republican majorities in Congress will be. 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