Special highlights from EU decision making: EU-Serbia relations, Data protection & Ambient air quality

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

– EU-Serbia relations

– Data Protection

– Ambient air quality (for premium subscribers only)


EU-Serbia relations

The accession of Serbia to the EU is having a hard time, as demonstrated by a wave of criticism injected in its yearly progress report. 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

VoteWatch Analytical Tool: Uncover which MEPs can help you advance your agenda. Part 2: Climate 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 upcoming Green Deal and highlight which MEPs are convinced (on either side), and which remain to be brought on board to secure majorities.  Continue Reading

Influence Index 2020: Top influential MEPs on EU’s environmental policy

This analysis is part of the Influence Index: a new data-driven ranking of MEPs by VoteWatch Europe and BCW Brussels. It is the first MEP ranking to measure influence through two crucial dimensions, namely: 

– Political influence: the ability to change legislation, win votes, and shape debates;   

– Social influence: the ability to reach people, shift the public conversation, and build a community of support. Continue Reading

INTERVIEW – Vălean: ‘EU should take the lead in the fight against climate change’

Half a year into the job of presiding over one of the most influential committees of the European Parliament, the one that legislates environmental (and energy) policy, MEP Adina Vălean feels that the EU can do more to lead the world into becoming truly environmentally-friendly. However, in this exclusive interview to VoteWatch, Vălean also explains how a two-speed Europe could weaken EU’s environmental ambitions and leverage on the global stage.  Continue Reading

Tints of Green: Who Influences Environmental Policy in the European Parliament and How?

*First published on the 21st of March, this the study has been updated to take into account the report 2013/0442(COD), which was initially left out of the study due to an inaccuracy of the Legislative Observatory of the European Parliament, which is an official website of the EU institution that tracks the  legislation (and which is thus independent from VoteWatch Europe). Continue Reading

Profile: Valean, the new ENVI chair, what does she stand for?

The change of leadership at the helm of the Environment and Public Health Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament is by far the move with the greatest direct impact on policy that took place during the reshuffle. As EP insiders know, ENVI is one of the committees that deals with the biggest number of legislative / binding decisions. Moreover, the environment-related subjects are also the most disputed files in the EP: a measurement by VoteWatch Europe indicates that it is on environment where the EPP and the S&D vote against each other the most (about half of the time, compared to only 24% overall). Continue Reading

COP21: EP centre-left majority sets the mandate for EP delegation to “ambitious legally binding agreement”

The EU Parliament adopted a resolution constituting the mandate for its delegation to COP 21, the UN climate change conference that will take place in Paris in December 2015. The adopted text urges the EU to demand a legally binding and ambitious agreement. Although the final document received cross-party support, key differences remain between the political families, which sets the stage for further difficult negotiations.

Concretely, MEPs coming from the leftist groups and ALDE formed a majority in favour of more ambitious legally-binding targets. Their position is that the EU should lead the way and go ahead with 3 binding targets, an energy-efficiency target of 40%, a renewable energy target of 30% by 2030 and a greenhouse-gas (GHG) reduction target of at least 40% (compared to 1990 levels). These forces have also asked for a roadmap to completely eliminate greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050.

On the other hand, the conservative forces, EPP and ECR, prefer a more gradual approach that would allow various economic sectors more time to adjust without losing competitiveness. EPP and ECR proposed that the full elimination of CO2 emissions should be envisaged by the end of the century, as 2050 is considered an unrealistic deadline. Moreover, the centre-right euro-parliamentarians are of the opinion that the EU should be more cautious in establishing its own binding targets in the absence of a legally-binding agreement at global level, since the lack of a level-playing field would put the European industry (and its jobs) at a disadvantage when trying to sell its products and services on the global market.  This view was not shared by the left and ALDE, who currently rally a majority in the European Parliament on environmental matters, and who are more inclined to believe that if Europe takes the lead this would put pressure on the other global players to do the same.

Through this report, the EU Parliament also calls on the Member States to urgently take binding and concrete measures against climate change and pull their weight towards an ambitious and legally binding agreement in Paris this December. However, the voting behavior of some key delegations of MEPs whose parties are governing in their countries seems to indicate that these governments have reservations. Concretely, Angela Merkel’s German CDU/CSU delegation, David Cameron’s Conservative delegation, Polish Law&Justice Party (of the new prime-minister Beata Szydlo) and Mariano Rajoy’s Partido Popular delegation all voted for a more gradual approach towards achieving environmental objectives.

Continue Reading