The European Parliament has a rather unusual mechanism that is known by very few insiders, which allows the MEPs to effectively change the way they voted after a decision has been made. This means that when a decision is made an MEP can vote one way, but then they can change their vote in the minutes (the ‘initial vote’ is still traceable in the minutes). Not surprisingly, this creates confusion as to the actual intention and views of the MEP. Continue Reading
What is this index, how should the results be read?
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) make decisions for us. As it is the case in democracies, they have different views on how the EU’s society and economy should be managed. As the European elections approach, it is a good time to look at the different viewpoints of the MEPs. At VoteWatch Europe, the leading independent non-partisan organisation tracking the voting records in the European institutions, we are creating a variety of tools that help citizens at large and more specific segments of the public understand how their interests and priorities are defended by their representatives. Continue Reading
In politics, strength is in numbers and in the European Parliament this is even more the case, especially after the upcoming European elections which will lead to a highly-fragmented House. So far, the European parliamentary groups have been impressively cohesive/disciplined, if we consider the big cultural and economic diversity of their members. Continue Reading
VoteWatch Europe is the leading organisation that tracks and forecasts EU political developments, through a unique combination of big political data and expert insights.
Our work is built on two pillars:
1) we follow the dynamics in the EU institutions (majority building, winners and losers, cohesion of the groups) to identify the supporters, opponents and the kingmakers among the EU Parliamentarians on any given policy proposal or broader area;
2) we follow the socio-political trends across the continent (opinion polls, governments’ change) in order to forecast the changes in the balance of power in both the European Parliament and the Council, and hence the agenda and the margin of maneuver of the European Commission, on any given policy proposal. Continue Reading
The EU has achieved a strong position in global trade acting together as a single voice (through the European Commission), rather than with 28 separate trade negotiations. Among other policy priorities, trade agreements have been one of the major achievements by Juncker’s Commission. However, different political forces assess the performance of the current Commission very differently from each other and, with the European elections around the corner, we wondered how the EU’s trade agenda might look with a very different texture of the future European Parliament. Continue Reading
Three months from now, many MEPs will try to keep their job by asking the EU citizens to give them another chance to move the EU forward. VoteWatch Europe will provide the public with a series of reports that reveal what and how the MEPs decided in these five years on behalf of half-a-billion citizens. Today, we look at the big numbers.
Throughout these five years of the legislature, the European Parliament has hosted around 9,000 roll-call votes – these include separate votes on key paragraphs and amendments and are the “transparent votes”, in which the public can see which way each Member of the Parliament voted. Continue Reading
Having set up and run for the past 10 years a leading Brussels-based observatory of EU politics, Doru Frantescu, CEO and Co-founder of VoteWatch Europe, shares his insights in this Springer’s book, Lobbying in the European Union. The volume is coordinated by Doris Dialer and Margarethe Richter and combines insights from a broad range of practitioners and academia. Continue Reading
As the EU elections are getting closer, VoteWatch Europe is receiving a huge number of questions from stakeholders and citizenry who are either concerned about possible turns in EU’s policies, or simply want to be ahead of the game with their advocacy campaigns. Here is the kind of questions that we receive on a daily basis and that we work to answer:
– Which MEPs will remain without a job and which will be reelected? Continue Reading
The next European Parliament will be a more fragmented one, as big groups will dwindle and smaller groups will grow. The EPP+S&D coalition, for example, is likely to fail short of 50% of the seats, for the first time since we hold EU elections.
This will make it much harder to make coalitions, which can explain the moves of some MEPs to try to prevent over-fragmentation by imposing stricter rules on the creation of political groups. Continue Reading
As anti-establishment parties attempt to challenge the European Union status-quo, Five Star Movement announced its plans of forming a new group in the European Parliament. This further reinforces projections of an increasingly fragmented EP, but in a different way: whilst fringe groups have been growing and trying to expand their outreach, this new group would in fact fragment the anti-establishment camp. Continue Reading