Key take aways from Spain and Romania’s elections

The 5th and 7th largest EU countries held key elections yesterday. Spaniards repeated once more parliamentary elections, while Romanians voted in the 1st round of presidential elections. While the topics of the electoral campaign were quite different, the overall trends in the redesign of the political party systems are similar.

The trends of fragmentation and polarization are expanding in Europe, as the political brands arising since the economic crisis are now fighting on equal footing the old, established parties. Continue Reading

New leaders of the EP: who are the winners and losers from the allocation of top posts?

Conference of Presidents – © European Union 2019 – Source : EP

After long-winded post-electoral negotiations, the puzzle of the new EU leadership is almost complete. Despite the efforts to ensure geographical and political balance, there are some clear winners and losers from the distribution of key leadership positions, as is usually the case in politics. Continue Reading

Rejection of two EC nominees: political takeaways on the new balance of power

© European Union 2019 – Source : EP

The confirmation process of the new College of Commissioners got off to a rocky start, after the Committee on Legal Affairs refused to green-light two Commissioners-designate (Rovana Plumb from Romania – S&D – and László Trócsányi from Hungary – EPP) for alleged conflicts of interest.

This is highly relevant for stakeholders as it showcases how the political battles ahead will look like: 

1) Protection by traditional political families is now less effective

The content of the arguments used for the rejection is, of course, relevant, but since the subject is brought to the interpretation of fellow politicians (as opposed to independent judges), it is difficult to overlook the political considerations of parties. 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

Interview: EU budget rapporteur Siegfried Mureşan on the future of EU money

Negotiations on the EU budget are not the easiest, in particular at a time of rising political fragmentation and polarization. For the first time ever, the yearly EU budget did not draw the support of the second largest political family in the European Parliament, the Socialist and Democrats. Still, a centre-to-the-right majority of policymakers managed to push the 2018 budget through the plenary of the EP. 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

How will the new Romanian government impact the EU?

Against the background of rising nationalism in many Member States, the 7th largest EU member and the fastest growing EU economy in 2016 (5.2%), Romania, held its parliamentary elections this Sunday. The Social-Democrats (S&D) won by a landslide, taking advantage of the fragmentation and lack of a clear message by the center-right camp.

While no proper anti-EU party made it into the new Parliament, nationalistic sentiments do exist within the ranks of the winning party and the elections’ results do indicate a shift in the policies of Bucharest’s next government, which is more likely to play hard ball in Brussels than the outgoing one. Continue Reading

Top 10 most influential Romanian MEPs (September 2016)

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.

At the top of our list on the most influential Romanian MEPs in the European Parliament we find one of the two Romanian vice-presidents of the European Parliament: Ioan Mircea Pașcu from the Social Democrat Party (S&D). Continue Reading