Who is for and against free trade in the European Parliament

Which members of the European Parliament – MEPs – are the most in favour of free trade and which, to the contrary, are the most opposed to it? Not necessarily those you might think, our latest VoteWatch Europe study shows.

We have used the European Parliament as object of analysis for two reasons. Firstly, this European institution plays an increasing role in influencing EU’s trade policy. Continue Reading

Survey results: how does Brexit impact on EU initiatives and politicians?

There is a lot of uncertainty about how Brexit will impact on the current EU initiatives and its highest level politicians. Various officials are trying to spin the narrative so that they can leverage Brexit to back their agendas. But will this work? How will Brexit actually influence the commitments to the EU integration of the remaining Member States? How will it affect TTIP negotiations, the REFIT, digital single market, or the relations with Russia and China? Continue Reading

The most influential MEPs by policy area

MEPs can influence EU policies in different ways. Some MEPs, such as the leaders of the political groups, exert a dissipated influence on EU politics, meaning that they contribute to shaping EU legislation as a whole, but they do not exert a large amount of influence on particular subjects. On the other hand, some MEPs are highly influential on their areas of expertise (e.g energy policy or environmental protection), but they exert a negligible amount of influence on other issues. Continue Reading

Brexit: what consequences for the EU policies after the referendum’s shocking results?


A massive political earthquake shook the world this morning, as the majority of UK’s citizens voted in favour of leaving the EU. There is a lot of uncertainty regarding the future relations between the UK and the European Union, as well as the possibility of a domino effect in other EU countries and future internal cohesion of the country (considering the tension in Northern Ireland and Scotland). Continue Reading

MEPs support mandatory corporate tax reporting and exchange of information

Canary wharf skyline

An overwhelming majority of Members of the European Parliament adopted a legislative resolution setting out a plan to reduce aggressive tax planning, evasion and avoidance by increasing the transparency of tax policies across the EU and making mandatory the automatic exchange of information on corporate taxation among national authorities.

The report was adopted by 567 votes in favour, 30 against and 53 abstentions. Continue Reading

The European and national politics behind China’s market economy status

The European Parliament has recently said “no” to granting market economy status (MES) to China. At the final vote, 84% of its Members backed the EP document, which made it look to the outsiders like there is a broad consensus against MES for China. However, a closer look at the actual text adopted and on how MEPs voted on key amendments shows a much more nuanced picture by country and political family. Continue Reading

EU Parliamentarians adopt the long awaited EU-PNR Directive

The Members of the European Parliament adopted yesterday the long awaited Directive on the regulation of the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences and serious crime.

With this new law, airlines will have to hand national authorities the passengers’ data for all flights from third countries to the EU and vice versa. Continue Reading

European center-right gains upper hand to demand less EU legislation

A coalition of pro-free market groups made up of Christian-Democrats (EPP), Conservatives (ECR) and Liberals (ALDE) succeeded to ensure the adoption by the European Parliament of a report backing the doctrine of the Juncker Commission which aims for less regulation. The report, which asks for an improved Single Market regulation, was adopted by EU MEPs by a small margin: 387 votes in favour, 293 against and 26 abstentions. Continue Reading

European centre-left blocks the adoption of EU-PNR Directive

At the beginning of the March plenary session of the European Parliament, the ECR Group (of David Cameron) made the request to place on the plenary agenda the report on the use of passenger name record data (EU-PNR). The demand was rejected by 163 votes in favour to 207 against. The opposing camp included the centre-left MEPs of the Socialist group S&D, the Liberals of the ALDE group, the radical left MEPs and the Greens. Continue Reading

Banking Union is positive, but important improvements are still needed, MEPs say

The first EU Parliament annual report on the progress made in 2015 by the Banking Union (BU), drafted by the Chairman of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Roberto Gualtieri (IT, S&D), welcomed the BU as instrumental to ensuring stability and restoring confidence in euro area banks, but said that work still needs to be done.

The resolution was adopted by 351 votes in favour, 112 against and 30 abstentions. Continue Reading