15 votes that shaped the 7th European Parliament (2009-2014): What happened and what will happen in the European Parliament?

VoteWatch Europe and Notre Europe - Jacques Delors Institute have joined forces together with think tanks and research institutes from 20 EU member states for an analysis of "15 key votes in the European Parliament that shaped European and national politics 2009-2014" in order to raise awareness of the issues at stake in the elections and to make democratic politics more visible.

At the launch event on 19 March 2014 in Brussels, many of the researchers involved in the project presented and discussed their findings in two panel discussions.

You can find here the presentation by Doru Frantescu, VoteWatch Europe policy director and co-founder, on voting trends in the 2009-14 EP, and possible scenarios following the latest PollWatch2014 forecast.

Who votes “yes” and “no” the most in the European Parliament? VoteWatch Europe special policy brief

On 11 December 2013 VoteWatch Europe published the special policy brief "Who votes “yes” and “no” the most in the European Parliament?".

This policy brief presents a quantitative analysis of the voting trends in the European Parliament (EP). In response to public interest following press reports about a Romanian MEP with a 100% 'in favour' voting record, the VoteWatch team looked at the votes cast by all MEPs during the current EP term of the EP, from July 2009 to October 2013.

The full policy brief can be downloaded here.

The values for all the MEPs can be downloaded here.

For more information please contact Doru Frantescu, VoteWatch Europe policy director:, tel. +32 2 318 11 88.

20 years of co-decision: A more (party) political Parliament; a less consensual Council - VoteWatch Europe special policy brief

On 5 December 2013 VoteWatch Europe presented a special policy brief to mark the 20th anniversary of the co-decision procedure (now known officially as the ordinary legislative procedure). The procedure, which put the European Parliament on a legislative par with the Council of Ministers in a limited number of policy areas, was introduced in the Maastricht Treaty, which entered into effect on 1 November 1993.

Key findings include:

• The roll-call vote participation rate for Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) has gone up, as has the internal cohesion rate of the EP’s political groups;
• In the Parliament, more legislation is being adopted at first reading, and by larger majorities;
• In the Council, legislative activity has decreased and decision-making has become less consensual.

The full policy brief, which includes detailed findings and graphs, can be downloaded here.

VoteWatch presentation at Counterpoint/OSEPI/CES event

On Monday 4 November 2013, VoteWatch Europe gave a presentation at the event "Populism at the European Parliament elections: how should the centre-right respond?", organised by Counterpoint, the Open Society European Policy Institute and the Centre for European Studies.

You can find our presentation here.

10 votes that shaped youth policy in the 2009-2014 European Parliament: Positions of the European political groups

This special VoteWatch Europe report has been commissioned by and produced in partnership with the European Youth Forum. It looks at key votes cast during the seventh legislative term of the European Parliament in the area of youth policy, in particular issues concerning education and measures to reduce youth unemployment. Its key findings are:

  • -An overwhelming majority in the current Parliament favours special policies to address youth issues.
  • -A sizeable majority of MEPs belonging to groups which support further EU integration also believe that the EU should get involved in coordinating these policies, with a minority considering that education and employment policies should be adopted only at national level.
  • -A clear left-right ideological divide emerges from the votes, especially on employment policies. The centre-left believes that governments should invest more money in creating jobs for young people, and that these investments should be excluded from rules on fiscal discipline. The centre-right believes that governments should maintain their budget discipline and focus on measures to stimulate economic growth in general, which in turn would generate more jobs for young people.
  • -Centre-left MEPs support measures that would stimulate youth employment while at the same time providing job security for existing employees. The centre-right, on the other hand, calls for more flexible labour legislation. In their view, existing legislation disproportionately protects "insiders" at the expense of unemployed youth.
  • -All MEPs deplore the reductions in the education budgets in Member States. However, they disagree on what needs to be done about it. The centre-right wants a reform of educational systems in Europe in order to make them more cost-effective and more competitive. The centre-left fears that such reforms could result in even bigger cuts in public spending on education and would negatively affect equal opportunities for learning. 

You can find the full report here.