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
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
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
The finalization of Brexit and the 2019 elections for the European Parliament will lead to a re-alignment of the alliances among national parties at the European level (for more insights check the results of our surveys on the matter: What will happen in 2019 and Who will lead the EU after 2019). This ‘reshuffle’ is going to provide some national political forces with a great opportunity to gain broader access to European political networks, increase their leverage on EU policy-making and obtain further protection from the hostile attacks of their opponents. Continue Reading
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
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
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
by Doru Frantescu
In a report of the European Parliament on the military situation in the Black Sea area, some Members supported an amendment asking that the possibility of providing Ukraine with defensive arms should be considered, if Russia does not fully implement the Minsk ceasefire agreements (par. 16/3).
This strong statement generated severe disagreements, dividing the MEPs on both ideological and national lines. Notably, all MEPs coming from Angela Merkel’s CDU/CSU alliance supported the idea. Conversely, all MEPs coming from their coalition ally in the German government, the social-democrats (SPD), voted against it. This development illustrates the deep divisions within the German Government on what the best course of action should be in response to the rising geo-political tensions on the EU’s Eastern frontier. Continue Reading