MEP Entrepreneur Index

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

Exclusive interview: the outlook for EU-Colombia relations in an increasingly divided world

By Carolina Chaparro Alba

The increasingly assertive behavior of the US administration and of other major powers such as Russia and China,  is posing a challenge to the clout of the EU in the world. While also facing the rise of nationalist forces across the European continent, the EU executive branch is becoming more isolated in its promotion of a consensus-driven approach to internal relations. Continue Reading

Survey results: who will lead the EU after 2019?

How will the EU institutions look like after the 2019 reshuffle? This is the question on everyone’s mind in Brussels, but the answers differ based on the information that one has (one’s personal mini-bubble). In order to get an overview of the expectations of the EU affairs community as a whole,  VoteWatch Europe has surveyed more than 1.000 members of the broader ‘EU bubble’ (which also includes national civil servants, whose views are more reflective of the different national perspectives) for their views regarding the reallocation of top EU positions in 2019 (Presidencies of European Commission, European Parliament, European Council and European Central Bank). Continue Reading

Interview: China’s long shadow over EU-Taiwan relations

by Hsiao-Chiang (Jeff) Hsu – Business Development Assistant at VoteWatch Europe

Despite the absence of formal diplomatic relationships with Taiwan, the EU has established solid relations with the first democratic country in East Asia over the past decades. Economic relations between the two partners are particularly close and dynamic: Taiwan is currently the EU’s fourth largest trading partner in Asia and the EU is Taiwan’s fourth largest export market. Continue Reading

Exclusive Interview: Japan’s Ambassador to the EU provides insight on future Euro-Japanese cooperation

The recent withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the halt in the Euro-American TTIP negotiations, the Brexit process and all the burgeoning voices worldwide demanding stronger protections of their special interests are signs of a general deterioration of trust in international trade (we predicted such changes back in 2016).  Continue Reading

This is why the EU lacks a position on the Middle East crises

Qatar responded to the ultimatum imposed by other Gulf countries, as the tensions in the region keep escalating. While the US is very active, the EU seems to lack the ability to have a coherent position on these developments. Why? This report shows how key European political actors have different preferences for their coalition partners in the Middle East, which leads to the EU as a whole having an ambiguous response when these regional crises occur. Continue Reading

Polish approach weakens V4’s leverage to influence the future of Europe

Right when the European unity is more vocally proclaimed around its 60th celebration, it was challenged once more during the latest European Council in Brussels, when Donald Tusk was re-elected as Council’s President. Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, voted against his compatriot’s appointment and was outvoted 27-1 by the other Member States.

The Polish government has been increasingly drifting away from the core of the EU during the past couple of years and this event will likely accelerate this trend. Continue Reading

Who are the winners and losers of the European Parliament’s reshuffle?

The mid-term reshuffle of the key positions in the European Parliament was more than just switching individual MEPs from one position to another: it also resulted in significant gains and losses of influence among some national delegations.

The reshuffle entailed the elections of the new members of the EP bureau, the chairs and vice-chairs of the committees and the political coordinators of the groups (in each of the parliamentary committees). Continue Reading

Profile: Valean, the new ENVI chair, what does she stand for?

The change of leadership at the helm of the Environment and Public Health Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament is by far the move with the greatest direct impact on policy that took place during the reshuffle. As EP insiders know, ENVI is one of the committees that deals with the biggest number of legislative / binding decisions. Moreover, the environment-related subjects are also the most disputed files in the EP: a measurement by VoteWatch Europe indicates that it is on environment where the EPP and the S&D vote against each other the most (about half of the time, compared to only 24% overall). Continue Reading

Can the new dynamics in the European Parliament save the EU in 2019?

As our simulation predicted a week ago, Antonio Tajani (EPP, IT) won the elections to become President of the European Parliament in the run-off against his compatriot Gianni Pittella (S&D). In addition to the expected support from the ECR, the centre-right candidate secured the support of the Liberal group (ALDE), after the signing of a new coalition between EPP and ALDE that aims at relaunching the European project. Continue Reading