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
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
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
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
The race for EP Presidency seems more open than usual with no clear winner in sight. If no “grand coalition” agreement will be reached beforehand, each MEP will cast his/her vote for one of the announced candidates.
To feed the interest in the race as a whole and the debate that will take place on Wednesday, we have made an in-depth simulation to find out who is the preferred candidate of each MEP. Continue Reading
On Sunday morning, Beppe Grillo, the leader of the main Italian opposition party, the 5 Star Movement, made a shock announcement, indicating that he intends to join the European liberal family, ALDE. If that were to happen, the 5 Star Movement would become the dominating force in the ALDE group in the European Parliament, currently headed by the staunch federalist Guy Verhofstadt. Continue Reading
At a time when Europe can count less on the US and the UK, Germany becomes more important than ever in determining the future of Europe, reason for which the entire continent now has a huge stake in Berlin’s future policy orientations. After an incredible 11 continuous years in government, Merkel’s CDU is poised to win yet another round of elections in September 2017. Continue Reading
If you think that 2016 was a dynamic year politically-wise, wait until you see the new year unfolding. The changes that will take place in the US and Europe will gradually reshape the currents of opinion globally and hence the patterns of international relations. Geo-political realignments will affect world governance, trade, businesses, economies and societies. Continue Reading
On Tuesday 13th, the EPP group elected its candidate for replacing Schulz at the helm of the European Parliament. A prominent member of Forza Italia, Antonio Tajani, received the mandate to run for the Presidency, after his candidature collected more votes than the other three contestants (Peterle, Lamassoure and McGuinness). On the 17th January, Tajani will have to face off the candidates presented by the other political groups. Continue Reading
Why are why doing this assessment?
VoteWatch Europe has recently conducted an overall assessment on the most influential MEPs over the current parliamentary term. This type of information is fundamental to the public, who needs to be aware of the personalities that shape policies affecting over 500 million EU citizens. The institutions as a whole, and in this case the EU institutions, take responsibility for the decisions made and their implementation, but in order to strengthen the democratic processes, the citizens also need to know which politicians within the institutions are playing a bigger role in shaping these decisions. Continue Reading