Scenarios: implications of the new Fidesz-PiS-Lega alliance

Copyright: European Union

The result of the current negotiations for a new political alliance will tell us whether what we are witnessing is geographical clustering (a sign of a rift between “richer” North-Western EU on the one hand and the South and East on the other), or if it’s a broader regrouping of the nationalists across the EU into the main opposition force in the European Parliament. Continue Reading

Impact of EPP-Fidesz divorce to be bigger than expected

TUBS, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

It is hard to overestimate the impact of Fidesz’s choice to leave the EPP group in the European Parliament. In addition to the obvious changes in the balance of power in the EU institutions and the related policy implications, the broader geopolitical dynamics should not be neglected. Concretely, while the departure of Orban’s MEPs facilitates closer cooperation between EPP, Macron’s group and the Social-Democrats, it also deepens the geographical divides between the North-Western EU and (part of) “new Europe”, providing fertile ground for the increasing influence of non-EU players in the EU’s backyard. Continue Reading

Influence Index 2020: Most Influential Hungarian MEPs

Note: this country-based report is part of the broader study that measured the influence of MEPs from all 27 EU Members States. To consult the methodology and cross-country comparisons check out the full study.

The analysis uses data and insights from the one-year period up to August 2020. There have since been some changes in European parliamentary seats and leadership positions.  Continue Reading

Which MEPs are the most supportive of migration, EU enlargement, EU social policy?

Creator: Gabor KOVACS
Copyright: CC-BY-4.0:©European Union 2019–Source: EP

A few months into the new EP term, we are already getting a clearer picture as to where different MEPs stand on the most important issues that the EU is dealing with. VoteWatch Europe is keeping track of how each MEP voted on all the issues decided in the European Parliament. We looked closely at all the votes cast so far on 3 of the hottest topics at the moment, namely migration, EU enlargement and employment/social affairs, in order to assess how different political players are positioning themselves. Continue Reading

Rejection of two EC nominees: political takeaways on the new balance of power

© European Union 2019 – Source : EP

The confirmation process of the new College of Commissioners got off to a rocky start, after the Committee on Legal Affairs refused to green-light two Commissioners-designate (Rovana Plumb from Romania – S&D – and László Trócsányi from Hungary – EPP) for alleged conflicts of interest.

This is highly relevant for stakeholders as it showcases how the political battles ahead will look like: 

1) Protection by traditional political families is now less effective

The content of the arguments used for the rejection is, of course, relevant, but since the subject is brought to the interpretation of fellow politicians (as opposed to independent judges), it is difficult to overlook the political considerations of parties. Continue Reading

Movers and shakers of EU politics – June 2018

While the summer break is just behind the corner, the hectic political debate in Brussels shows no sign of abating. In fact, the upcoming year will bring about a series of brand new changes: a new balance of power in the EP following the elections in May 2019, a new leadership of the EU institutions, and the (tentative) finalization of the Brexit negotiations. At the same time, EU decision-makers are expected to make progress on the proposed reforms of the Eurozone governance, the EU asylum system and the ambitious proposals for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework, among many other hot issues. Continue Reading

Update: Top 5 Most Influential Hungarian MEPs (September 2017)

Note: this country-based report is part of the broader study that measured the influence of MEPs from all 28 EU Members States. To consult the methodology and cross-country comparisons read the full “Who holds the power in the European Parliament?” study.

József Szájer, member of Fidesz (EPP), is the most influential MEP in our list. He is one of the Vice-Chairs of his political group, the EPP. Continue Reading

EU votes to step up measures to counter Russia’s propaganda, but Southern Europeans do not agree

Over the last couple of weeks, the position of Russia on the world stage has considerably strengthened. Not only the new President-elected of the US, Donald Trump, advocates for closer relations with Putin’s country, but also pro-Russian forces are getting stronger in Europe: in Moldova and Bulgaria, candidates who want closer ties with Russia won the Presidential elections, whereas in Estonia, the main pro-Russian party just joined the government. Continue Reading

Comparing the positions of the Hungarian Government and Hungarian parties in the EP on symbolic European issues

Executive Summary

The purpose of this joint study of VoteWatch and Policy Solutions is to examine the voting patterns of Hungarian Members of the European Parliament in order to figure out whether Hungarian political parties have the same positions on key issues in both Brussels and Budapest.

For this reason, we explored how Hungarian MEPs voted in the European Parliament using VoteWatch.eu and compared it to their respective national party’s position by using Policy Solutions. Continue Reading