Our latest event on the future of Europe post-2019 featured a brilliant intervention by Prof. Simon Hix (Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Co-Founder of VoteWatch Europe), who provided valuable insights on what might happen next year. Additionally, Doru Frantescu (Director and Co-Founder of VoteWatch Europe) provided key updates on the policy forecasts that VoteWatch Europe is carrying out in the run-up to the European elections. Continue Reading
The European Parliament finally voted on 8 July on one of the most important dossiers it deals with in this term, the Trade Agreement with the US (TTIP). As VoteWatch had predicted in an analysis published in April, a comfortable majority of Members have endorsed the continuation of negotiations conducted by the EU Executive (the Commission) with its American counterpart.
The pro-TTIP camp was formed of the People’s Party (EPP), the majority of the Socialists&Democrats (S&D), Conservatives&Reformists (ECR) and Liberal-democrats (ALDE), which gathered 436 votes (61%). The anti-TTIP camp was formed of the radical-left / communists, Greens/EFA, euro-sceptics (EFDD) and nationalists (EFN), which gathered 241 votes (34%).
Our main take-aways from the postponement of the TTIP vote and the analysis of the positions and constraints of the political forces:
– the postponement of the vote was mainly a political, rather than a technical decision;
– a strong majority in favour of TTIP is still there, a narrow one for ISDS too;
– negotiations are unlikely to be finalised within the timeline wished by Jean Claude Juncker, i.e. the end of 2015.
On 10 June, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were supposed to vote their views on how and what the Commission should negotiate with the US government within the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investments partnership (TTIP). However, the vote was postponed, the official reason invoked being that there were simply too many amendments and requests for separate votes, which would have made the voting session lengthy and difficult to follow by the MEPs.
There has been a lot of speculation lately about what the impact of the surprising election of Andrzej Duda as president of Poland could be for Europe and for his country. We did a fact-check to find out what his true views are on policy-making, by analysising his voting behavior as an MEP, a position he held since 2014.
What did we find: judging by his voting record, Mr. Duda has reservations with regard to Juncker’s Commission, is a strong supporter of Ukraine’s European aspirations, favours the inclusion of investor’s protection clause in international trade agreements and supports a bigger EU budget. He prefers security over privacy and shares Israel’s views on Middle East politics. He does not support ambitious targets for renewable energy or gender-based affirmation action and he opposes to promotion of contraception and abortion. Continue Reading
Today, the European Parliament adopted by large majority a non-binding resolution on the annual report on EU competition policy. The text was supported by 526 votes in favour, 108 against and 59 abstentions. (Click here to see how the MEPs voted). All the main EU political groups voted in favour of the resolution with the exception of the eurosceptics EFDD and the radical left GUE/NGL.
The resolution highlights the key role played by competition in the EU internal market and stresses that the EU’s competition policy has brought numerous benefits in terms of consumers welfare and has been an important tool to eliminate obstacle to free movement of goods, services, persons and capitals. The textclaims that competition policy should be focused particularly on protecting consumers, improving consumer welfare, fostering innovation and stimulating economic growth; Continue Reading
During the first six months of the current term of the European Parliament (July 2014 – December 2014), the three pro-European groups at the centre of the spectrum have succeeded in being ‘on the winning side’ much more often than the other groups, as a result of pre-vote agreements between them. Had there not been the vote in January 2015, when the political groups founded impossible to reach consensus on the Commission’s working plan for the current year, we could have concluded that a (super) grand coalition is alive and well. Continue Reading