The latest report by VoteWatch Europe investigates the level of political support for fiscal initiatives at the EU level (with a special focus on Belgian MEPs). In particular, we looked at the behaviour of Belgian politicians when voting on 10 key taxation issues. The second part of the report looks at the current state of play in the Council of the EU, which plays a pivotal role in this policy area, since any decisions require the unanimous support of EU national governments. Continue Reading
As Chancellor Merkel and others put it, this is the most challenging moment for Europe (and probably the rest of the world) since WWII. As during WWII and its aftermath, this will also be a time when the patterns of international influence will be redefined by those that will cope the best with the challenges ahead of us, ie. the health crisis and its economic consequences.
Severe disruptions in the commercial routes in general and those of medical equipment and agri-food in particular, combined with the repatriation of expat workers already reveal both the strengths and the vulnerabilities of the social and economic basis of each of the Member States (as well as any country worldwide). Continue Reading
The stakes can hardly be higher, as EU leaders are meeting today to kick off a negotiating marathon to decide on the next Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU. Finding an agreement will be more difficult than ever, as the increasing political fragmentation and polarization of political systems across the EU decrease the room for maneuver of the different national leaders. Continue Reading
Sylvie Goulard was not the only one to be defeated last week in the European Parliament. While the EPP and S&D were successful in their mission to break even with Macron’s group on the number of commissioners being rejected, the two traditional groups lost on other fronts.
The “good old grand coalition” EPP+S&D also joined forces to propose the set-up of a new special committee to investigate foreign electoral interference and disinformation in European elections. Continue Reading
Doru Peter Frantescu, CEO and co-Founder of VoteWatch Europe, was mentioned by a recent Politico report as one of the most influential players in the context of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Since the first ever Romanian Presidency, which began on January 1st, is expected to cope with a big number of challenges for the EU: Brexit, the approaching European elections and the approval of the next multiannual financial framework, the practitioners mentioned in the report are expected to have a word to say in the “changing and treacherous political and diplomatic landscape” over the next 6 months. Continue Reading
Who gets what from the EU money, the regulation of the labour market, mandatory labelling, subsidies for farming (CAP) and a new investment fund for the Eurozone were the chief topics on which continental political forces fought during the latest plenary session of the European Parliament.
In the key showdown, MEPs took a stand on the Commission’s proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework. Continue Reading
An Analytical Look at the Future of the EU Budget
In the next couple of years, the European Institutions and the Member States are going to be busy debating the next Multiannual Financial Framework, ie the financial programming and budgetary discipline of the seven years period between 2021 and 2028.
This is a fundamental political discussion: by defining in which areas the EU should invest, the MFF is an expression of political priorities as much as a budgetary planning tool. Continue Reading
Another plenary session, another special VoteWatch Europe report on the most controversial issues, the oddest voting behavior of EU Parliamentarians (MEPs) and the strangest bedfellows occurred in Strasbourg.
This time around, MEPs took a stance on whether EU countries infringing on the EU fundamental values should face financial consequences, whether new sources of revenue for the EU coffers should be introduced, as well as the controversial introduction of a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base at the EU level. Continue Reading