Review: ‘Parlement’, the new series on the European Parliament

If someone asks you to define EU politics in one word, “entertaining” and “fun” are unlikely to be the first words that come to your mind. The common perception of EU institutions as lifeless and dull also explains why they have been rarely subjects of TV shows, movies, and series. Even the numerous US-based political series tend to ignore the EU and prefer to focus more on US relations with Russia or China. Continue Reading

European Parliament: current and future dynamics

The imminent departure of British MEPs brings further changes to the balance of power in the European Parliament, only a few months after the EP landscape was redrawn by the elections held in May 2019. This generates further confusion at a time when stakeholders are already struggling to engage with an apparently more unpredictable cohort of policymakers. However, the EP’s (and EU’s) decisions are not as unpredictable as commonly thought. Continue Reading

Brexit: the power of data predictions

As the United Kingdom’s withdrawal agreement was supported by an overwhelming 91% of European parliamentarians, the UK will formally leave the European Union as the clock strikes midnight on the 31st of January.

For the past 10 years, VoteWatch has kept the record of how the EU governments make decisions in Brussels. As we indicated on other occasions, an expert look at the data can help you understand the trends and forecast the political future. Continue Reading

Von der Leyen gets the green light, but the biggest challenges are yet to come

© European Union 2019 – Source : EP

Today, a majority of MEPs decided to give the green-light to the new von der Leyen Commission. About 65% of MEPs backed the new College of Commissioners, whereas only 22% of Parliamentarians voted against von der Leyen. This means that, after a difficult process, the new legislative cycle can finally start. However, if you think von der Leyen’s life will be any easier after clearing this major hurdle, you might want to reconsider: the biggest challenges are yet to come, as the latest trends show that coalition building on EU policy initiatives is going to be more difficult than ever. Continue Reading

How each MEP voted on Lagarde, Brexit backstop, US-Iran sanctions and Amazon fires

© European Union 2019 – Source : EP

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

Which MEPs changed their votes the most in the current EP term?

The European Parliament has a rather unusual mechanism that is known by very few insiders, which allows the MEPs to effectively change the way they voted after a decision has been made. This means that when a decision is made an MEP can vote one way, but then they can change their vote in the minutes (the ‘initial vote’ is still traceable in the minutes). Not surprisingly, this creates confusion as to the actual intention and views of the MEP. Continue Reading

EP2019: how do MEPs feel towards EU trade policy post-elections?

The EU has achieved a strong position in global trade acting together as a single voice (through the European Commission), rather than with 28 separate trade negotiations. Among other policy priorities, trade agreements have been one of the major achievements by Juncker’s Commission. However, different political forces assess the performance of the current Commission very differently from each other and, with the European elections around the corner, we wondered how the EU’s trade agenda might look with a very different texture of the future European Parliament. Continue Reading

EP 2019: increasingly fragmented Parliament (fresh projections)

The year of this unprecedented electoral event has started. Five months from now, European citizens will vote for the first time without the British. Euro-critical / eurosceptical forces are trying to organise so that they can challenge the status-quo: today, Salvini meets Kaczynski. What can happen in May’s elections?

Here are some of our latest projections:

– If current trends are confirmed, for the first time in history of the elected EP, the two largest groups (EPP + S&D) would not be able to command a majority of seats. Continue Reading

VoteWatch CEO among the most influential players in Brussels

Doru Peter Frantescu, CEO and co-Founder of VoteWatch Europe, was mentioned  by a recent Politico report as one of the most influential players in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Since the first ever Romanian Presidency, which began on January 1st, is expected to cope with a big number of challenges for the EU: Brexit, the approaching European elections and the approval of the next multiannual financial framework, the practitioners mentioned in the report are expected to have a word to say in the “changing and treacherous political and diplomatic landscape” over the next 6 months.  Continue Reading

5 takeaways from our special event with Prof. Simon Hix

Our latest event on the future of Europe post-2019 featured a brilliant intervention by Prof. Simon Hix (Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Co-Founder of VoteWatch Europe), who provided valuable insights on what might happen next year. Additionally, Doru Frantescu (Director and Co-Founder of VoteWatch Europe) provided key updates on the policy forecasts that VoteWatch Europe is carrying out in the run-up to the European elections.  Continue Reading