VoteWatch Europe is an independent organisation set up to promote better debates and greater transparency in EU decision-making, by providing easy access to, and analysis of, the votes and other activities of the European Parliament (EP) and the EU Council of Ministers (Council). VoteWatch uses the EU Institutions' own attendance, voting and activity data - available through their websites - to give a full overview of MEP and Member State activities.
Using sophisticated statistical methods developed by political scientists from the London School of Economics and New York University, the website covers the activities of Parliament and Council since 2009. (Parliament statistics dating back to 2004 are also available on the website). Information on the EP is updated daily following each voting session. Council votes are updated as and when voting data is made available by the Council secretariat. Follow us on Twitter if you are interested in receiving immediate updates.
VoteWatch Europe is run by a small professional team which combines skills and expertise in EU affairs with extensive experience in the development and use of online transparency tools.
We work through two legal entities: a Community Interest Company (CIC) registered in the UK, and an international non-profit association (AISBL in French or IVZW in Dutch) registered in Belgium. We are registered for VAT in Belgium.
Policy Director: Mr Doru Frantescu (co-founder). Doru leads the development of the VoteWatch.eu website and the on-line communication tools, the voting analysis and related services. He has worked in civil society in Bucharest and Brussels with a focus on European affairs, being the author and coauthor of several analytic reports on voting and activity in the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. He also has experience in the media sector and is an expert in e-democracy tools. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian and Romanian. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing Director: Mr Michiel van Hulten. Former Dutch Socialist MEP (1999-2004) and former Council official (1996-1999). Michiel co-founded the Campaign for Parliament Reform and is the author, with Nick Clegg, of "Reforming the European Parliament", Foreign Policy Centre, 2003. He speaks Dutch, English and French. Email: email@example.com
Policy and Communications Manager: Mr Joan Manuel Lanfranco Pari. Joan works on research, fundraising, communications and events. He is also a researcher on VoteWatch's special projects aimed at raising awareness of, and interest in, the European elections of 2014. He has work experience in the European Parliament, at a pan-European NGO and with a large EU affairs consultancy. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Catalan, Italian and basic Dutch. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Policy and Events Assistant: Ms Elisa Irlandese. Elisa assists the Policy and Communications Manager and the rest of the team in the organisation of VoteWatch events, research and outreach, also focusing on EP elections projects. She has previously worked in the European Parliament and in a European industry association. She speaks English, French and Italian. Email: email@example.com.
Research Assistant: Ms Alexandra Pop. Alexandra assists the Policy Director and the rest of the team on research, focusing on the analysis of the EP's voting. She is also involved in the development of VoteWatch's special projects on the EP elections. Alexandra has academic and work experience in European affairs and social and policy research. She speaks Romanian, English and French. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EP Elections Project assistant: Ms Frida Göteskog. Frida works on VoteWatch's special 2014 EP elections projects. She deals with social media for MittVal2014.eu, the Swedish version of MyVote2014.eu and coordinates the Electio2014.eu volunteers. She has worked in a Brussels-based business organisation and as a journalist. She speaks Swedish, English and German . Email: email@example.com.
VoteWatch CIC and VoteWatch Europe AISBL:
Chair: dr Simon Hix (co-founder). Professor of European and Comparative Politics and Head of the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Hix is an expert on EU politics, comparative democratic institutions, parliamentary voting behaviour, and parties and elections. He is a Fellow of the British Academy (s.hix at lse.ac.uk).
Vice Chair: dr Sara Hagemann (co-founder). Lecturer in EU Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science and has previously worked in think-tanks in Brussels and governmental institutions in Denmark. Hagemann frequently participates in policy debates and has published extensively on EU governance and democracy. From 2009 to 2011 shewas Executive Director of VoteWatch CIC (s.hagemann at lse.ac.uk).
Ms Kathalijne Buitenweg. Board member of the Dutch Institute for Human Rights, Supervisory Board member of Pro Demos, the Netherlands House for Democracy and the Rule of Law, and member of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs. Buitenweg served as a Green MEP from the Netherlands from 1999-2009.
Mr Mikołaj Dowgielewicz. Vice-Governor for Target Group Countries at the Council of Europe Development Bank in Paris. Before that he was Secretary of State for European Affairs and Economic Policy in the Polish government. Dowgielewicz also worked as an adviser on enlargement issues to European Parliament President Pat Cox and as spokesman and member of cabinet of European Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström.
dr Ignasi Guardans. CEO and co-founder of CUMEDIAE - Culture & Media Agency Europe AISBL. Guardans is a former Member of the European Parliament from Spain (ALDE Group), and a former Member of the Spanish Parliament. He is a regular contributor to Spanish media, and a respected voice in Spanish speaking social media.
dr Abdul G. Noury (co-founder). Associate Professor of Political Economy at New York University (NYU-AD). Abdul is an expert on European Political Economy, Legislatures, and Applied Statistics, which he also teaches at NYU. Noury has published extensively on legislatures and economic aspects European integration.
Sir Julian Priestley. Chairman of the Board of Directors of EPPA (European Public Policy Advisers), a Brussels based public affairs consultancy. From 1997 to 2007 he was Secretary-General of the European Parliament. He is the author of "Six Battles That Shaped Europe's Parliament" (2008) and co-author of "Europe's Parliament - People, Places, Politics" (2012).
The members of VoteWatch CIC are Doru Frantescu, Sara Hagemann, Simon Hix, Abdul Noury and Michiel van Hulten.
VoteWatch Europe AISBL:
The General Assembly of VoteWatch Europe AISBL is comprised of full members, associate members, supporting members and honorary members.
Currently our full members are: Doru Frantescu, Sara Hagemann, Simon Hix, Abdul Noury, Michiel van Hulten and VoteWatch CIC.
Kathalijne Buitenweg, Mikołaj Dowgielewicz, Ignasi Guardans, Sir Julian Priestley and the European Policy Centre (EPC) are associate members.
VoteWatch Community Interest Company (UK):
Our budget for 2011 - 2012 amounted to just under 280.000 euros. This included 45.000 euros carried over from the previous year and 205.000 euros in new grants (120.000 euros from the Open Society Foundations and 85.000 from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust), as well as some income from paid services and donations. We received generous in-kind support from the Centre for European Policy Studies (office accommodation), Burson-Marsteller (PR support) and White & Case (legal advice).
Approximately 45% of our expenditure was on personnel costs. 35% went to IT, including website redesign, hosting and maintenance, software development and data collection. The remaining 20% was spent on office rental (as of 1 February 2012 we sublet a shared office at the European Policy Centre), office expenses and VAT payments (we are registered for VAT in the UK).
VoteWatch Europe AISBL (Belgium):
Our budget for 2012 amounted to 123.573 euros. This included a grant of 114.273 from the Open Society Foundations and income from paid services of 9.300 euros. As the AISBL only became operational in the fourth quarter of 2012, most of these funds (88.626 euros) were placed in reserve for use in 2013. Of the 34.947 euros spent in 2012, 90% went on personnel costs and the remaining 10% on rent and other administrative overhead.