A few months into the new EP term, we are already getting a clearer picture as to where different MEPs stand on the most important issues that the EU is dealing with. VoteWatch Europe is keeping track of how each MEP voted on all the issues decided in the European Parliament. We looked closely at all the votes cast so far on 3 of the hottest topics at the moment, namely migration, EU enlargement and employment/social affairs, in order to assess how different political players are positioning themselves. Continue Reading
The 5th and 7th largest EU countries held key elections yesterday. Spaniards repeated once more parliamentary elections, while Romanians voted in the 1st round of presidential elections. While the topics of the electoral campaign were quite different, the overall trends in the redesign of the political party systems are similar.
The trends of fragmentation and polarization are expanding in Europe, as the political brands arising since the economic crisis are now fighting on equal footing the old, established parties. Continue Reading
After long-winded post-electoral negotiations, the puzzle of the new EU leadership is almost complete. Despite the efforts to ensure geographical and political balance, there are some clear winners and losers from the distribution of key leadership positions, as is usually the case in politics. Continue Reading
While preparing to decide the fate of von der Leyen’s Commission next month, last week the EU Parliamentarians engaged in the most hectic EP plenary since the EU elections, as the different EU political families formed and changed ad-hoc coalitions in order to provide political impetus to their proposals on the future policy direction of the EU.
Due to the ever shifting coalition arrangements, there was no overall winner or loser, since those who were on the winning side on some of the topics ended up being defeated on other matters. Continue Reading
Sylvie Goulard was not the only one to be defeated last week in the European Parliament. While the EPP and S&D were successful in their mission to break even with Macron’s group on the number of commissioners being rejected, the two traditional groups lost on other fronts.
The “good old grand coalition” EPP+S&D also joined forces to propose the set-up of a new special committee to investigate foreign electoral interference and disinformation in European elections. Continue Reading
Despite the rocky start of the Parliamentary vetting process, the new College of Commissioners led by Ursula von der Leyen is still expected to take office before the end of the year. While often sneered as ‘faceless Eurocrats’ by its staunchest critics, the College of Commissioners is mostly composed of career politicians whose task is to provide political impetus to the powerful executive machine of the EU, which is currently made up of about 30.000 civil servants. Continue Reading
While preparing for the upcoming hearings of the EU Commission nominees, MEPs cast their votes on some of the hottest topics on the EU agenda: the appointment of Christine Lagarde to succeed Mario Draghi at the ECB, the EU strategy on the Brexit negotiations, the US sanctions against Iran and the case of the Amazon fires.
While the mainstream forces (S&D, Renew Europe and EPP) managed to remain cohesive in backing Lagarde and the EU Brexit strategy, rifts among these groups were observed with regards to the EU position on US-Iran and the Amazon fires. Continue Reading
*This is the second part of a series covering the political changes within EP Committees. Click here to read the first part.
The composition of EP committees aims to mirror the balance of power among political factions in the European Parliament as a whole. However, the same proportional distribution is not applied with regards to the representation of different national groups, which allows more freedom to MEPs. Continue Reading
By Piotr Maciej Kaczyński*
For many years, the size of parliamentary committees has reflected the political choices of the Parliament. The bigger the committee – the more relevant the committee, this is the common understanding. The size of the committees stems from two sources. First is their popularity with elected Members (MEPs). Continue Reading
Photo credit: ©European Union 2019, Source: EP, Marc Dossmann
The extremely small majority by which Ursula von der Leyen passed in the Parliament confirms our forecasts on what we can expect in the next 5 years in EU politics. Here are our key take-aways:
– Every MEP will count! Continue Reading