Is Belgian MEP Rolin actually more progressive than his political group, the EPP?

As our previous report on the ‘unusual’ voting behavior of the Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen showcased, the positions taken by EU Parliamentarians sometimes diverge from the official lines of their political groups.

Indeed, the political affiliation of MEPs is not the only factor that shapes their voting behavior. There are many other factors that influence MEPs’ behavior, such as their nationality, personal background and beliefs. Continue Reading

How did Belgian EU Parliamentarians vote on social rights?

VoteWatch Europe combined its political expertise with its dataset on the voting records in the EP to analyse how Belgian European Parliamentarians positioned themselves on several economic and social issues, ranging from the introduction of a European minimum wage to the establishment of an Eurozone budget. This report was commissioned by the Belgian Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (ACV-CSC) with the purpose of tracking the voting behaviour of Belgian MEPs on social rightsContinue Reading

Is Belgium’s Internal Divide Reflected in European Politics?

The Walloons are from Venus, the Flemish from Mars. Is it true what they say? Are the Belgians divided, and if yes, is this reflected when they take part in decisions made at the EU level? This report provides a comparative perspective of the positions taken by Belgian EU Parliamentarians on key issues voted recently in the European Parliament.

Please note that this is not a survey: we took into account the actual decisions made by Belgian MEPs, not merely opinions or carefully crafted political statements. Continue Reading

(Opinion) CETA vs. Wallonia and the city of Brussels: the axes are out

By Doru Frantescu

As the tension is getting close to paroxysm this week, the views expressed by opinion leaders have radicalised. The commentators have become highly polarized between those that blame (the Parliaments of) Wallonia and Brussels for “taking the whole EU as a hostage” and those that defend Wallonia and Brussels by telling to those EU affairs expats who have any complaint about (the city of) Brussels to simply “go back to your own country”. Continue Reading

Lessons to be learnt from CETA’s stalemate

Those who believed this spring that CETA was a done deal now have quite a few things on their hands. The complexity of the EU decision-making and the diverging political interests within it have once again taken the bureaucrats in charge of negotiating the deal by surprise.

This occurrence is a case in point of why one needs to make much broader political calculations when trying to get something approved by the EU decision-making machinery. Continue Reading