VoteWatch Analytical Tool: Uncover which MEPs can help you advance your agenda. Part 2: Climate Policy

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. 

We show the positions of each MEP on key parts of the upcoming Green Deal and highlight which MEPs are convinced (on either side), and which remain to be brought on board to secure majorities. 

Check out our previous analyses on other policy areas (e.g. taxation, trade, etc.) here.

Use this analytical tool to spot:

a) how influential MEPs are in a given policy area

b) in which direction each MEP is pulling EU legislation.



Reminder on why to use the new VoteWatch analytical tool 

Because politicians do not form their opinions in a vacuum. MEPs need to collect information and expertise, especially on issues on which they do not have any professional experience. Consequently, MEPs welcome new information from stakeholders (be it political, public or private sector). Doru Peter Frantescu, CEO and co-founder of VoteWatch Europe, recently shared his insights on how stakeholders can work with MEPs in this John Harper Publishing new book – How to Work with the EU Institutions: A Practical Guide to Successful Public Affairs in the EU.


How does this information look like in our new analytical tool?

Last updated: February 2021 __________________________________________________________________________________________

Above you will see the position of each MEP on EU climate policy issues (each interactive dot holds the information about an MEP). The more an MEP is placed to the left of this chart, the more that MEP supports an ambitious EU policy in this area. On the contrary, the more an MEP is to the right of this chart, the more sceptical an MEP is towards the scope and speed of these initiatives. The level of influence of each is displayed on the vertical axis: the higher an MEP is placed on that axis, the greater the influence that MEP exerts over EU climate policy decisions.

This first chart shows the position of all MEPs (regardless of their committee membership).

Pay particular attention to the interactive dots that are positioned in the middle, and especially 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 over your mouse over each dot to learn more information.

Note: in the free version of this report we display limited information in the charts. To discover the names of the MEPs you need to log in with a premium account. If you don't have a premium account yet, please contact us at [email protected] to discuss the terms.

When it comes to climate policy, we notice that the Greens/EFA, GUE-NGL as well as some non-attached members (NI), mostly belonging to the Italian Five Star Movement (M5S), are the most supportive of more ambitious decisions in this domain. This also confirms our observation that Italy’s M5S usually sides with the Greens/EFA and the far-left. The S&D group and the majority of Renew Europe also generally support a more ambitious EU climate policy, even if to a lesser extent, and although they are more divided on the issue. Unlike in the area of trade policy, Renew Europe group in particular displays a high diversity of views on climate policy decisions, with several national delegations being less supportive of a faster transition to a carbon-neutral economy compared to the rest of the group. 

On the other hand, the EPP holds slightly more critical views. Yet, the core of the group remains close to the median point, whereas a few EPP members are on the other side, aligned with REG. The most unsupportive groups are thus ECR and IDG, which tend to be sceptical about the order of priorities set by European Green Deal. 


The second chart focuses only on the MEPs who are members of the main relevant committee. Thus, the positions of all MEPs belonging to the EP’s Committee on Environment (ENVI). 

Last updated: February 2021

Identify the kingmakers and the swing-voters 

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 / are undecided whether climate policy should be the priority will generally be more receptive to new information as they probably have not yet decided which amendments to support and how to vote. Conversely, MEPs that hold strongly crystallized views on climate policy (i.e. are either strongly supportive or strongly opposed) will arguably be less receptive to alternative views, as they have made up their mind long ago. 

Keep in mind that this matrix shows MEPs’ support and influence on climate policy in general. Ideally, you would focus your efforts on the kingmakers or on the heads of national delegations (as they have a greater potential of influencing their compatriots) in order to make the best use of your resources. However, be aware that influence is not something static, but it evolves continuously, ie. certain MEPs become more influential as they gain more experience in the EP and in international affairs in general, or because their party comes to power in their country, etc. 

Irrespective of your agenda, the strategy that you should pursue is “maintain and reach out” – ie. maintain the support of politicians that share your views (especially those that you may lose) and reach out to the ones in the middle to build majorities. 


Example of how our tool predicts and projects the positions of the MEPs when a key decision is made

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The chart above shows the position of each MEP on a particular proposal, namely the increase of the EU GHG target for 2030 to 60%. The dots are now colored in green (MEPs who voted in favour), red (MEP voted against) and yellow (MEP abstained).

As the tool predicted, generally speaking, MEPs who are reluctant to a more ambitious climate policy (on the right of the chart) voted against this new target, while MEPs who want further regulation (on the left of the chart) supported it. The battleground was the MEPs in the middle, where the pro-regulation campaign managed to capture more moderated MEPs than the pro free-market campaign, which also explains the final outcome (rejection of the proposal).

The opponents of the initiative, concentrated on the right side of the majority line (among right-wing groups), did not manage to convince enough middle-ground MEPs to influence the outcome. This is, once again, a striking example of the crucial role that the kingmakers play in the majority-building of each initiative.

Below, another example of coalition-building on environmental topics, leading to a completely different outcome. Other examples are available upon request: plastics, biodiversity, nuclear energy, deforestation, animal welfare and much more! For more information, contact us at [email protected]

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Who are the key MEPs ? 

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This analysis is part of VoteWatch Premium Service. To read the full analysis you need to log-in with a PREMIUM account. If you don't have one, contact us at  [email protected]