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

EP2019: group discipline under pressure post-elections?

Guy VERHOFSTADT in plenary session Week 3 2017 in Strasbourg

In politics, strength is in numbers and in the European Parliament this is even more the case, especially after the upcoming European elections which will lead to a highly-fragmented House. So far, the European parliamentary groups have been impressively cohesive/disciplined, if we consider the big cultural and economic diversity of their members. Continue Reading

Which EP political groups are actually fake?

Friends of Europe [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

The next European Parliament will be a more fragmented one, as big groups will dwindle and smaller groups will grow. The EPP+S&D coalition, for example, is likely to fail short of 50% of the seats, for the first time since we hold EU elections.

This will make it much harder to make coalitions, which can explain the moves of some MEPs to try to prevent over-fragmentation by imposing stricter rules on the creation of political groups. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary November 2017

The latest plenary session of the European Parliament featured heated Parliamentary debates, “odd” voting behavior by EU Parliamentarians (MEPs) and European groups splitting on the most controversial issues. This report highlights the political dynamics underlying the most important decisions from the November EP plenary session, revealing how political groups and individual EU Parliamentarians aimed at shaping these decisions. Continue Reading

Gains and losses of EP political groups in November’s plenary

During the plenary (or part-session) of the European Parliament that took place in late November we recorded some very interesting trends in the behavior of the political groups and which also explain the results of the votes. Here are just a few of them.

How cohesive has been each of the political groups?

For the second Strasbourg session in a row, the EPP group (with 216 members from 27 countries) has shown the greatest level of internal coordination. Continue Reading

Key lessons from the 26-29 October EP plenary

by Doru P. Frantescu, director & co-founder of VoteWatch Europe (@dorufrantescu)

During the plenary (or part-session) of the European Parliament between 26-29 October we saw some very interesting trends in the behavior of the political groups and which also explain the results of the votes. Here are just a few.

How cohesive has been each of the political groups?

Firstly, the EPP experienced a much greater internal discipline (or solidarity) than in the previous part-session. Out of the total 358 roll-call votes (a record high) that took place during the 3 days of voting at the end of October, in was only rarely that EPP Members deviated from the pre-established group line. As a result, EPP was the most cohesive group, with a score of 98% cohesion. Continue Reading

Do values topple nationality in the European Parliament?

Providing a wealth of data in an accessible format, VoteWatch Europe monitors voting patterns in the European institutions. For our latest European View, co-founder and director Doru Frantescu answers this million-Euro question.

The political parties from across the European continent have formed transnational political families, based on their values. Continue Reading

European People’s Party (EPP) is the most united political family in the new European Parliament term

The largest European political group, the EPP, is proving much better at mobilising its members in this first part of the new parliamentary term, and as a result it continues to be the group who has won most votes. All of this despite substantial losses in the May 2014 elections. This can be partly explained by the new political landscape, with the EPP under increased pressure to rally its members. Continue Reading

Which EU political family is the most united in the European Parliament ?

Background: there are 7 political families in the European Parliament. Individual Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) sit not according to nationality, but join political families according to their own ideology. Then, for most of the time, they vote according the position decided within the group. Some groups are more united when the votes are about civil liberties, others are more disciplined when voting on economic affairs. Continue Reading