Despite the rocky start of the Parliamentary vetting process, the new College of Commissioners led by Ursula von der Leyen is still expected to take office before the end of the year. While often sneered as ‘faceless Eurocrats’ by its staunchest critics, the College of Commissioners is mostly composed of career politicians whose task is to provide political impetus to the powerful executive machine of the EU, which is currently made up of about 30.000 civil servants. Continue Reading
*This is the second part of a series covering the political changes within EP Committees. Click here to read the first part.
The composition of EP committees aims to mirror the balance of power among political factions in the European Parliament as a whole. However, the same proportional distribution is not applied with regards to the representation of different national groups, which allows more freedom to MEPs. Continue Reading
How will the EU institutions look like after the 2019 reshuffle? This is the question on everyone’s mind in Brussels, but the answers differ based on the information that one has (one’s personal mini-bubble). In order to get an overview of the expectations of the EU affairs community as a whole, VoteWatch Europe has surveyed more than 1.000 members of the broader ‘EU bubble’ (which also includes national civil servants, whose views are more reflective of the different national perspectives) for their views regarding the reallocation of top EU positions in 2019 (Presidencies of European Commission, European Parliament, European Council and European Central Bank). Continue Reading
The recent breakdown of the negotiations for a new coalition in Germany took many stakeholders by surprise. As our pre-elections report published in June had already predicted, putting together a coalition between the Christian Democrats, the Liberals and the Greens is a painstaking operation. The abrupt end of the preliminary talks showed that there are still limitations to political engineering, as the positions of the Greens on most issues are still too far from the ones of their potential coalition partners. 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.
Manfred Weber, member of the Christian Social Union (EPP) is the most influential German MEP on our list. Continue Reading
The future of many EU policies largely depends on the outcome of German election in September. Indeed, the potential end of the grand coalition, made up of the Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats, could alter the position of Berlin on issues such as the EU defence policy and the future of the Eurozone.
According to its supporters, the grand coalition brought harmony and balance to German politics. Continue Reading
The EU and UK have just started negotiating the Brexit deal, but the future status of the EU-UK relations is more uncertain than ever. Theresa May’s bid to increase her majority in the Parliament by calling snap elections backfired. Political uncertainty is shared by continental Europe, as Member States struggle to find a common direction to the future of the Union. Continue Reading
This is another sign that things are moving. Decision-making in the Council has traditionally been seen as a process converging towards consensus, so that the final outcome satisfies everyone. However, Brexit and the discussions on the future of Europe do reveal that some differences between Member States are more difficult to reconcile than others.
The vote on how to address fraud against the EU budget has become a key sticking point, with some governments being less willing than others to support EU’s defence of its own financial interests. Continue Reading
with special thanks to professor Simon Hix and research assistant Davide Ferrari
First published on July the 17th 2016, this article has been updated to take into account the latest political developments.
While Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50 today, on Wednesday, March 29, many observers wonder how the equilibrium of powers in the EU Council will change without the UK at the negotiations table. Continue Reading
At a time when Europe can count less on the US and the UK, Germany becomes more important than ever in determining the future of Europe, reason for which the entire continent now has a huge stake in Berlin’s future policy orientations. After an incredible 11 continuous years in government, Merkel’s CDU is poised to win yet another round of elections in September 2017. Continue Reading