Special highlights from EU decision making: EU Taxonomy & energy, NATO, Middle East, better regulation and teleworking

CC-BY-4.0: © European Union 2020 – Source: EP

This special briefing includes our latest observations regarding the politics behind EU policies on the following subjects:

NB: the Commission pays attention to the size of EP majorities not only when voting on legislation, but also when own-initiative reports are being passed in the preparatory stages, hence the Commission is likely to shape the actual upcoming legislative proposals in line with these political majorities to avoid complications. Continue Reading

Special highlights from EU decision making: Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and corporate due diligence

This briefing includes our latest observations regarding the politics behind EU policies on the following subjects:

– Corporate due diligence

– Tax coordination

– Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (premium subscribers only)

– Fisheries policy (premium subscribers only)

– Sustainable Growth Strategy  (premium subscribers only)


Corporate due diligence

Latest EP voting sessions indicate that the pro-regulation camp is gaining ground in the European Parliament when it comes to implementing a mandatory and binding human rights due diligence framework across the whole value chain. Continue Reading

The right to disconnect: Winners and losers of the EP decisions

During the latest plenary session, a strong majority of MEPs called on the Commission to legislate on the right to disconnect. However, while there does seem to be broad support across EU political families for such an initiative, a deeper analysis reveals significant divisions within the EPP and Renew Europe groups, in particular with regards to MEPs from North-Western Europe, and especially among Swedish, Dutch and Danish. Continue Reading

VoteWatch Analytical Tool: Uncover which MEPs can help you advance your agenda. Part 5: Social policy

This report is part of the new VoteWatch series showing you how to build your strategy using our new analytical tool (which is explained in-depth here) and which allows you to quickly identify kingmakers and swing-voters among MEPs. This tool is already been used by key stakeholders active in EU policy-making.

We show the positions of each MEP on key parts of the EU social policy agenda and highlight which MEPs are convinced (on either side), and which remain to be brought on board to secure majorities. Continue Reading

Latest Council data: EU clustering at new high post-Brexit

©European Union

The latest Franco-German proposal to substantially increase the amount of money that will be managed by the EU brought a (much needed) boost of enthusiasm. However, the details of the new process of collecting and allocating the funds, as well as the EU’s broader crisis-management and economic recovery strategy, are what will eventually make things easier or harder for Europeans. Continue Reading

Winners and losers of the EP Plenary January 2018

The Politics behind EU Policy Making

Energy, environment and fisheries are three of the areas where the EU Parliamentarians have made key decisions during the first EP plenary of 2018. As always, we kept track of who voted for what, who won and who lost. This report highlights the most controversial issues, the oddest voting behaviors of MEPs and the strangest bedfellows occurred during the January part-session. Continue Reading

Is Belgian MEP Rolin actually more progressive than his political group, the EPP?

As our previous report on the ‘unusual’ voting behavior of the Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen showcased, the positions taken by EU Parliamentarians sometimes diverge from the official lines of their political groups.

Indeed, the political affiliation of MEPs is not the only factor that shapes their voting behavior. There are many other factors that influence MEPs’ behavior, such as their nationality, personal background and beliefs. Continue Reading

Vote on labour policy highlights political and national differences

Brexit will lead to a decrease in the support for a more flexible labour market across the European Union. In fact, over the decades, the British government opposed several EU initiatives aiming at stepping up worker protection, as they implied higher costs for businesses as a whole. The debates regarding the flexibility of the labour market have long haunted the different European institutions, which constantly hesitated about the positions they should adopt while trying to satisfy countries with heterogeneous views on the question. Continue Reading

EU governments’ power game with freedom of movement for European citizens: who is losing?

Freedom of movement of people inside the Union is one of the four fundamental freedoms on which the European construction is based, along with that of goods, services and capital. While the principle is clearly stated in the EU’s treaties, when it comes to applying it, many issues surface.  The European Executive, the Commission, has proposed in recent years a number of pieces of legislation aimed at removing the remaining regulatory barriers between the countries.

These laws have eventually been approved in the Council of the EU, but only after tough disputes between the Member States. However, the introduction of qualified majority voting has made it possible to reach a position even without all governments agreeing. This has set the ground for a new kind of power game in the Council, with each interested government looking to find allies and build majorities, or blocking minorities. Failure to do so results in being left in minority and losing the battle.  Continue Reading