VoteWatch Analytical Tool: uncover which MEPs can help you advance your agenda. Part 9. Rule of Law


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 being used by key stakeholders active in EU policy-making.

We show the positions of each MEP on key parts of the EU push towards more regulation on the rule of law and highlight which MEPs are convinced (on either side), and which remain to be brought on board to secure majorities.

Check out similar analyses on other policy areas (e.g. climate, due diligence, etc.) here.

Full list of matrices covered in this report:


  • 1. Influence and level of support for regulation on the rule of law
    • 2. Rule of law mechanism
      • 3. Rule of law conditionality
        • 4. Compliance of member states
          • 5. Rule of law enforcement
          • 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).


            1. Influence and level of support for regulation on the rule of law

            The matrices below provide a detailed picture of the general trends in voting behaviour amongst MEPs when it comes to the rule of law. The level of influence of each MEP on parliamentary activities is displayed on the vertical axis: the higher an MEP is placed on that axis, the greater the influence this MEP exerts over EU rule of law policy. Members who are placed on the left of the chart tend to push for more ambitious 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 rule of law.

            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 the rule of law 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 the rule of law (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 in our new analytical tool?

            These charts show the general position of MEPs on rule of law legislation (regardless of their committee membership first, and within several relevant 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, and click on the black arrows to scroll through the visuals.

            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]).



            2. Rule of law mechanism

            The following series of charts represents the position of MEPs on different topics related to the rule of law. 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. 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 represents the changes in MEPs’ positioning, either over time or on different elements of the same policy.



            3. Rule of law conditionality


            4. Compliance of member states


            5. Rule of law enforcement


            For more information, training, consultancy or media relations, contact us at [email protected]