VoteWatch.eu launches report “Voting in the 2009-2014 European Parliament: How Do MEPs Vote after Lisbon?” – Burson-Marsteller Brussels – Europe, Middle East & Africa
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VoteWatch.eu launches report “Voting in the 2009-2014 European Parliament: How Do MEPs Vote after Lisbon?”

by Mayssa Badr on 27th January 2011 • News, Press releases


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


VoteWatch.eu launches report “Voting in the 2009-2014 European  Parliament: How Do MEPs Vote after Lisbon?” 

       

Brussels, 26 January, 2011 – VoteWatch.eu, the leading organisation monitoring the work of the European Parliament, today launched its third 6-monthly report on voting in the new European Parliament.


The report analyses the votes cast by MEPs and political groups in all recorded votes that took place from the first plenary session of the new parliament in July 2009 to the last plenary session in December 2010.  The report focuses on three main patterns: (1) How often each of the political groups have been on the winning side in votes; (2) who votes with whom in the new Parliament; and (3) the ‘voting cohesiveness’ of the political groups.  We look at average voting patterns as well as patterns by policy area.  We also compare behaviour in the new Parliament to behaviour in the previous Parliament (2004-09), and provide information on attendance rates and MEPs’ reports and speeches in the plenary. The full report can be downloaded from the www.votewatch.eu website. 

 

Main findings of the research:


The June 2009 European Parliament elections have produced some changes in voting patterns in the European Parliament.  Although the European People’s Party (EPP) is the largest group in the European Parliament (with 36% of the seats), it is not in a dominant position when it comes to winning on key votes.  The chances of EPP winning votes depend on the coalition formation patterns, as well as on the internal cohesion of each of the main political groups.


In contrast, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) holds the balance of power for most of the times in the new Parliament: able to choose to form a winning centre-right majority with the EPP (and sometimes the new ECR group) or a winning centre-left majority with the S&D and Greens/EFA (and sometimes GUE/NGL).  As a result, ALDE has so far ‘won’ slightly more often than the EPP in voting situations, which was not the case in the previous Parliament.


The ‘grand coalition’ (of EPP+ALDE+S&D) remains at the core of most decisions on constitutional affairs, foreign policy, agriculture and fisheries.  But, this coalition is increasingly opposed by the other political groups.  Moreover, the new Parliament has seen more left-right splits in votes in a number of policy areas, such as environment and public health, civil liberties, gender equality or development.


During the first 18 months of the new Parliament, the political groups have increased their cohesion rates and improved the attendance records of their members. This, coupled with the increased powers granted to the European Parliament by the Treaty of Lisbon in several key policy areas (such as civil liberties, international trade, and agriculture), may lead to more party-based coalitions and voting patterns in the legislative process in Brussels.


VoteWatch.eu issues reports on political behaviour in the European Parliament every 6 months, and the work of individual MEPs and their political and national groups can be monitored continuously via the www.votewatch.eu website.



ENDS

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About VoteWatch.eu

 

Votewatch.eu is an independent organization set up to promote better debates and greater transparency in EU decision-making by providing  easy access to, and analysis of, the political decisions and activities of the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers.

Votewatch.eu uses the European Parliament’s own recordings of attendance, voting and activity data to give a full overview of MEP activities, broken down by nationality, national political party and European party grouping. Using sophisticated statistical methods developed by political scientists from London School of Economics and Université Libre de Bruxelles, the website covers the Parliament’s activities starting with its 2004-2009 parliamentary term and it is updated following each voting session in plenary. Votewatch.eu is working to expand its activities to also cover information on governments’ decision records in the Council of Ministers.

Votewatch.eu is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Open Society Institute, Burson-Marsteller, Center for European Policy Studies and ElectionMall.com 

 

 

Media contact:


Doru Frantescu

VoteWatch.eu

Tel: +32 472 657 924

Email: doru@votewatch.eu

www.votewatch.eu

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