A year’s worth of political analysis from VoteWatch Europe

As we approach the end of 2021, we would like to thank you for joining us this year and we hope you have found our publishings insightful. As we reflect on all that has happened in the world of EU politics in 2021, here is a recap of the data-driven projects and reports that we have produced this year:

New visual tools: which MEPs can help you advance your agenda?

This year, VoteWatch created new tools to better analyse voting patterns from the EU institutions in a comprehensive and accessible manner. Such information is integral for stakeholders, since it reveals which MEPs are the kingmakers that you need to have on your side. Naturally, MEPs vote on a wide range of policy areas, and we do our best to bring you the information on all relevant topics; from environment and employment to trade and foreign policy.

Our advanced visual tools reveals the political stance of MEPs on a given issue, as well as their influence in the policy area. Combined, this information gives a wider picture of the political support for a certain proposal.

Click here to find our analyses divided by policy area.

New visual tools: which MEPs are the top bridge-builders in different committees?

Another insightful project from 2021 was the mapping of MEP cross-group connections. This shows which MEPs are the best bridge builders in the Parliament and are therefore more likely to form broad coalitions to successfully pass amendments at Committee level. Our mappings allow you to view these connections both in terms of EU Member States as well as political affiliation. Such cross-group connections can also help predict MEPs who might take on a higher leadership role in the future.

Don’t worry if you missed our September briefing, you can read our analysis here.

Influence update: which MEPs are most influential on different policy areas?

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, 2021 has undeniably been a busy year for Members of the European Parliament, as they were able to continue their legislative work at the edge of middle-term. Working on the Influence Index 2021, together with BCW Brussels, had us equally occupied.

The level of influence of each and every MEP that changes continuously due to several factors. These range from the internal dynamics of the EP (position reshuffles, rapporteurship appointments etc.), national politics (whether there is a looming election, a change in the local political landscape etc.) to the shifting visibility of a topic on the current political agenda (it is logical that MEPs specialised in a topic that is currently under discussion will receive a boost in their scores). This knowledge allows us to pinpoint those who have the most impact on the ongoing “legislative debate”. As MEPs specialise in specific policy areas, the sectoral analysis allowed us to observe how the dynamics of the EP differ when we concentrate on particular policy dimensions.

Here is the link to find all related results.

You can see which MEPs ranked in our Top 100 for overall political influence, as well as the top influential MEPs on particular policy areas such as health, digital, trade and environmental.

Exclusive insights from decision-makers and stakeholders

This year, we developed and launched a brand-new project conducting interviews with policy-makers as well as stakeholders, in order to provide you with a greater understanding of EU affairs through conversation and communication. These first-hand insights effectively complement our quantitative data. We reached out to MEPs as well as other political actors to discuss a variety of topics with them; from EU-India relations to Due Diligence. We hope you enjoyed reading our interviews and keep your eyes peeled for more of this content in the new year.

You can read all of our 2021 interviews here.

The first comprehensive database on national governments’ comitology votes

This year we also inaugurated a brand new dataset based on Comitology votes. This unprecedented step remarks our commitment to provide you effective and easy-to-use tools to understand EU dynamics. Indeed, the Comitology dataset is meant to provide unique insights into the voting patterns of national governments on key policy areas, as well as to understand possible conflicts between Member States and Directorate Generals of the Commission. Having a clear picture of how Member States interact with each other and form different coalitions depending on the policy area at hand is essential for everyone who wants to predict the future direction and top priorities of the EU.

To know more about comitology and the voting behaviour of Member States, take a look at our database.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Alongside our new big projects, we kept updating our database of votes from the EU institutions on a daily basis. For more information on how to access all of this, write to us: [email protected]

In the meantime, we wish all of our readers, partners and stakeholders to enjoy this holiday season and to look forward towards next year with excitement. Let us analyse 2022 for you.