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
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
The latest plenary session of the European Parliament featured heated Parliamentary debates, “odd” voting behavior by EU Parliamentarians (MEPs) and European groups splitting on the most controversial issues. This report highlights the political dynamics underlying the most important decisions from the November EP plenary session, revealing how political groups and individual EU Parliamentarians aimed at shaping these decisions. 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.
Jerzy Buzek, member of Civic Platform (EPP), is the most influential Polish MEP on our list. Continue Reading
Brexit will lead to a decrease in the support for a more flexible labour market across the European Union. In fact, over the decades, the British government opposed several EU initiatives aiming at stepping up worker protection, as they implied higher costs for businesses as a whole. The debates regarding the flexibility of the labour market have long haunted the different European institutions, which constantly hesitated about the positions they should adopt while trying to satisfy countries with heterogeneous views on the question. 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
Right when the European unity is more vocally proclaimed around its 60th celebration, it was challenged once more during the latest European Council in Brussels, when Donald Tusk was re-elected as Council’s President. Polish Prime Minister, Beata Szydlo, voted against his compatriot’s appointment and was outvoted 27-1 by the other Member States.
The Polish government has been increasingly drifting away from the core of the EU during the past couple of years and this event will likely accelerate this trend. Continue Reading
by Łukasz Król and Doru Frantescu
Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (ECR), recently announced that he might not support Tusk for a second term as the President of the European Council (Tusk’s term ends in June 2017). Is this just a tactical move or will he really go all the way and withdraw support for his political rival?
Law and Justice has long called for deep reforms within the EU, which include a stronger Council, weaker Commission, and more power to individual member states. Continue Reading