This report is part of the new VoteWatch series showing you how to build your strategy using our new analytical tool (which is explained in-depth here) and which allows you to quickly identify kingmakers and swing-voters among MEPs. This tool is already been used by key stakeholders active in EU policy-making.
By combining (objective) data science with expert insight, we filter out the noise and show the actual positions of each MEP on key parts of the EU climate policy agenda. Our visualisations, which are based on the processing of public information (activities undertaken and votes cast by the MEPs), highlight which MEPs are convinced (on either side) and which have more nuanced views and will be decisive in securing majorities. Always remember that MEPs are not acting as isolated individuals, but they are part of political networks and their positions are usually aligned with those of their governments (in the case of MEPs belonging to parties in government). For this reason, understanding the nuances in the positions of MEPs helps not only to forecast the decisions made in the EP, but also to anticipate what the EU governments are likely to do.
Check out similar analyses on other policy areas (e.g. climate, taxation, etc.) here.
Use this analytical tool to spot:
a) how influential MEPs are in a given policy area (vertical axis).
b) in which direction each MEP is pulling EU legislation (horizontal axis).
Full list of topics covered in this report:
1. Influence and comparative level of support for prioritising the EU climate agenda
The matrices below provide a detailed picture of the general trends in voting behaviour amongst MEPs when it comes to climate policies. The level of influence of each MEP is displayed on the vertical axis: the higher an MEP is placed on that axis, the greater the influence this MEP exerts over the EU climate agenda. Members who are placed on the left of the chart tend to push for more ambitious climate regulation (a conclusion we reached after looking at their recent legislative behaviour in the EP) while MEPs placed on the right of the chart believe in a more free-market approach to the EU climate agenda.
Our analytical tool highlights which MEPs are the kingmakers and the swing-voters when decisions are made: the swing-voters are in the area surrounding the majority line (the yellow area) while the kingmakers are in the area where influence (the blue area) overlaps with the swing-voters area. The MEPs that have more moderate views on EU climate policies will generally be more receptive to new information, as they decide their position on a case-by-case basis. Conversely, MEPs that hold strongly crystallised views on climate (i.e. have either a strong regulatory approach or strong market approach) will arguably be less receptive to alternative views, as they have made up their mind long ago.
How does this information look like in our new analytical tool?
These two first charts show the general position of MEPs on climate policies (regardless of their committee membership first, and within relevant EP Committees). Pay particular attention to the interactive dots that are positioned in the proximity of the majority line, because those are the MEPs who will decide to support or reject a proposal at the last moment (and in doing so, they hold the key to the fate of a proposal). You can filter the MEPs by country (use the drop-down menu on the left side) or by political group (click on the name of a political group). Roll your mouse over each dot to learn more information. Note: you will need to log in with your premium account in order to see the names of the MEPs (if you do not have one, contact us at [email protected]).
1.1. All MEPs
1.2. Breakdown within relevant EP Committees
2. GHG Targets
The following series of charts represent the position of MEPs on different votes related to the upcoming ‘fit for 55’ legislative package. While the positioning of MEPs on the matrix remains the same, note that the dots are now coloured in green (MEP voted in favour), red (MEP voted against) and yellow (MEP abstained) as they now refer to the voting behaviour of MEPs on one specific vote.
Importantly, VoteWatch is now proposing new visuals which compare the positioning of MEPs over time on a given issue or on different elements of a given policy. Below is an example of this new tool applied in the context of GHG targets, the CBAM, the Renewable Energy Directive, or the EU ETS . Click on the black arrows to scroll through the matrices. Note that for the first graphs, the colour of each dot represents the positioning of that given MEP on the vote at hand (red when the MEP voted against, green when in favour and yellow when they abstained). The last visual highlights any change in voting behaviour between the selected votes. In light of this, the colouring of the dots represent the changes in MEPs’ positioning, either over time or on different elements of the same policy.
2.1. 60% GHG target: evolution of support amongst MEPs over time
2.2. Current level of support for a progressive increase of targets: 60% vs. 65% vs. 70% GHG reduction
2.3. MEP voting behaviour comparison: Where do 2 key MEPs stand?
The visual below compares two MEPs who share a similar level of influence over the EU climate agenda, but hold rather different views. From a stakeholder’s point of view, this goes to show that identifying influential MEPs is not enough to ensure a successful campaign. Understanding the different positioning of MEPs is also key in order to determine which message would resonate the most with a given member. To compare more MEPs, you can take a closer look at our different matrices, depending on which specific topic you are interested in.
Esther de Lange (NL, EPP) vs. Delara Burkhardt (DE, S&D)
3. Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)
3.1. Current level of support for different elements of the CBAM
4. EU Taxonomy & energy
4.1. Current level of support for EU taxonomy and the ‘do no significant harm’ principle
4.2. Current level of support for different types of low carbon hydrogen
4.3. MEP voting behaviour comparison: Where do 2 key MEPs stand?
Patrizia Toia vs. Christian Ehler
5. Renewable Energy Directive (RED)
5.1. Current level of support for different elements of the Renewable Energy Directive
6. EU Emissions Trading System (ETS)
6.1. Current level of support for different elements of the EU ETS
6.2. Reviewing the EU ETS: evolution of support amongst MEPs over time
For more information, training, consultancy or media relations, contact us at [email protected]