Balance of power in EC top management shows geographical divides

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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

Concentration of nationalities in key EP committees reveals agendas

© European Union 2019 – Source : EP

*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

EU elections & Eurovision: same geographical and experts/citizens divides?

This month is particularly important for the European Union. Starting from the 23rd of May, EU citizens will reach the dedicated polling stations to decide on the composition of the next European Parliament. These elections will impact on the overall direction of the EU and its future decisions on issues that affect all of us (migration, environment, agriculture, social policy, etc.). Continue Reading

What takeaways from the latest Italian political earthquake?

Another major European election, another big earthquake for the (traditional) political establishment. In a historical Italian election, the mainstream parties that have dominated the Italian political life over the last 20 years (i.e. Renzi’s Democratic Party and Berlusconi’s Forza Italia) have been crushed by the 5 Star Movement (an internet-based party founded by a comedian), and the far-right League, whose campaign took inspiration from Donald Trump’s style. Continue Reading

The Italian Electoral Puzzle: What Government and what impact on EU dynamics?

Executive summary: The outcome of the upcoming Italian elections is far from certain and it will likely lead to a difficult government formation process. For this reason, these elections are followed with apprehension in Brussels, as they might lead to more political instability and/or a shift from the current status quo in Rome, depending on which coalition will take the power. Continue Reading

Update: Top 10 Most Influential Italian 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.

Antonio Tajani, member of Forza Italia (EPP), is the most influential MEP in the European Parliament. He was elected President of the European Parliament at the beginning of the year. Continue Reading

What will the EU27 Governments and the EP Actually Want from Brexit?

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

France more likely than Germany to lead the EU Council after Brexit, voting records in the Council show

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

Will 2017 bring a new EU and world order?

If you think that 2016 was a dynamic year politically-wise, wait until you see the new year unfolding. The changes that will take place in the US and Europe will gradually reshape the currents of opinion globally and hence the patterns of international relations. Geo-political realignments will affect world governance, trade, businesses, economies and societies. Continue Reading

Why the anti-establishment tsunami strikes in Italy and what to do next

Mainstream parties seem to make one miscalculation after another, always underestimating the risk of political turmoil in several of our countries. Renzi had to resign, plunging Italy into uncertainty and thus adding weight to the centrifugal spinning that has already pushed away the UK, Greece, Poland or Hungary. France and the Netherlands are not far behind, as nationalists are topping the polls ahead of key elections in spring next year. Continue Reading