Just over half a year has passed since the Members of the European Parliament have started their work, following the May 2014 European elections. There are currently 751 Members coming from the 28 EU countries. Each month they gather in the parliament’s plenary to vote on new laws and decide what the EU should do to improve the life of its citizens. The subjects addressed cover a wide range of issues, such as civil liberties, economy, environment, foreign policy and so on.
So far, there have been 318 roll-call (recoded) votes cast, and, as in any parliament, some Members have participated more than others. When calculated by country, the Irish have the smallest average so far: 73% of participation in votes. The second and the third from the bottom come Lithuania and Cyprus.
At the top of the table we find Croatia and Austria, with an average of over 96%. Interestingly, the Austrian MEPs have always been on top of this ranking ever since 2004, when we have started collecting this type of data.
To see the full ranking by countries, click here.
How important is participation in votes ?
Firstly, it has to be said that having high participation scores doesn’t automatically equal greatest results. As at almost any job, being present is necessary, but not sufficient to achieve the results your constituents would like from you. There are many other aspects to be taken into account, such as being able to secure key positions, proposing amendments and building majorities to have your points approved and many others. So, for a full assessment of the activity of a parliamentarian, one should look at his/her activity as a whole.
But, that said, participation gives an indication, though not complete, of the interest in parliamentary work and capacity to influence legislation and decisions that affect the daily lives of more than 500 million EU citizens.
To see the participation of individual Members, click here.
To see a more comprehensive report of the activity of each Member, look for his/her profile page using the search engine on top right of this page, or simply click on his/her name in the list of MEPs.