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

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

What lies behind Catalan MEP Josep-Maria Terricabras’ loyalty to his political group?

Our analysis of striking voting behavior in the European Parliament continues. After the ‘unusual’ cases of Sirpa Pietikäinen and Claude Rolin, we now take a look at the positions taken by EU Parliamentarians whose voting choices diverge so little from the official lines of their political groups that it might raise some questions.

Indeed, as we previously pointed out, MEPs exist and vote beyond the political groups in which they seat. Continue Reading

What Does The Future Hold For Catalonia and Spain?

“Thirty years ago almost one third of the current EU member States did not exist in the form we know them today”, argues the representative of the Government of Catalonia to the EU, Amadeu Altafaj. On the other side, “the voice of the people” may end up being in fact an active minority, as Ignacio Molina, Senior Analyst of The Elcano Royal Institute observes that “opinion polls show that there is no majority in support of independence [for Catalonia] and even less so if the process is unilateral”. 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

How Does the Spanish Political Turmoil Impact EU Politics?

Things are moving in Spain. With the election of Pedro Sanchez as the new leader of the Spanish Socialist party (PSOE), a potential referendum on the independence of Catalonia in September and Spanish Government’s tight majority in the national Parliament, there are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at this country’s politics. Pedro Sanchez’ victory took place in an already unstable political setting and is likely to enhance polarisation in Spanish politics. 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

Top 10 most influential Spanish 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.

A member of Rajoy’s People’s Party, Gabriel Mato, occupies the first position in our list on the most influential Spanish MEPs. Continue Reading

Survey results: how does Brexit impact on EU initiatives and politicians?

There is a lot of uncertainty about how Brexit will impact on the current EU initiatives and its highest level politicians. Various officials are trying to spin the narrative so that they can leverage Brexit to back their agendas. But will this work? How will Brexit actually influence the commitments to the EU integration of the remaining Member States? How will it affect TTIP negotiations, the REFIT, digital single market, or the relations with Russia and China? Continue Reading

Spanish parties agree on the need for more EU, but they are split on Northern Ireland

(Click here for the version in Spanish)

After the Brexit, we analysed which are the positions of EU politicians in the European Parliament on the future of Europe. We observed that there were strong disagreements between both different Member States and different political families. Indeed, in countries such as France, Italy or Germany, the positions of the political parties represented in the EP vary considerably across the political spectrum. Continue Reading