MEP Influence Index 2024: Top MEPs shaping Agriculture

MEP Influence Index 2024: Top MEPs shaping Agriculture

This analysis measures the influence that Members of the European Parliament are exerting over EU legislation and documents that shape EU agriculture policy. It is part of a series of reports that includes:

This research measures MEPs’ influence through a combination of criteria clustered in the following categories: formal and informal leadership positions, actual legislative work, political network, committee membership and voting behavior. 

Disclaimer: this is an assessment based on our team's 15+ years of experience in interpreting relevant EU socio-political data. The aim of this research is not to provide an "absolute truth", but rather to provide an indicative overview. As in any such research, the weighing of the criteria may contain an intrinsic degree of subjectivity, which we aimed to reduce by consulting with a wide range of analysts and practitioners.To read the full methodology, click here.

Key findings:

  • The top most influential MEPs on agriculture have been: Isabel Carvalhais (PECH coordinator and S&D key legislator on fisheries and rural areas), Herbert Dorfmann (EPP AGRI Coordinator and key legislator on Farm to Fork strategy), Clara Aguilera (S&D AGRI Coordinator and key legislator on fisheries and aquaculture practices), Norbert Lins (Chair of AGRI) and Pascal Canfin (Chair of ENVI and key legislator on files concerning the greening of the agricultural sector). See the full top 10 below.
  • MEPs from Renew, tend to be punching above their weight when it comes to influencing this policy area, while the Finns are proportionally the most influential from among the national groups. See the full stats below.

More details on the above findings can be found below.

Important: when tracking influence over EU policies, always bear in mind that while individual MEPs are the visible signatories of initiatives or amendments, they are not operating in an information vacuum. Rather, their views and actions are shaped by a wide range of political and societal stakeholders that engage with them.

To understand the full picture, you need to look at the strength of these forces and the direction in which they are pushing and pulling. For example, the chart below shows the level of influence of all MEPs on agriculture issues, but also the direction in which each of them is working to influence the debate on nature protection and restoration, e.g. whether they promote a stronger focus on the environment or stronger focus on economic factors. Particular attention should be paid to the MEPs who are in the middle, i.e. which have both a fair level of influence and their views are moderate, because in the current (and future) fragmented political landscape, these MEPs (the swing voters) are the ones that make the difference, i.e. their votes are the ones that decide whether a key paragraph is approved or not.

Note: the positions of the MEPs in the chart below on the horizontal axis is based on an assessment of their voting behavior on a wide range of paragraphs and amendments on this particular sector. 

Note: in the chart above, only the names of top MEPs are visible. If interested in more, contact us at [email protected].

The visual below shows our assessment of the most influential 10 MEPs in this sector (scroll to the right to see the full list). 

The list is also available as a table format here.

NB: at least 2 of these top 10 MEPs are likely to come back after the elections. Would you like to know which ones? Contact us at [email protected] for more information on our EP2024 elections info-pack (which includes likely MEPs, Commissioners, policy impact, and much more). 

In addition to the top 10 most influential MEPs, we have found it interesting to identify the MEPs from each group that has had the most "personalised" views (i.e. different from those of their political group), on either side of the debate. In other words, who is the most to the right and to the left of their political group on this chart. This is based on the analysis of their voting behavior on a wide range of relevant paragraphs and amendments impacting on this sector. These findings are represented below. 

Trends by political group 

MEPs from Renew have been proportionally performing better on agriculture & fisheries topics in the current European Parliament. In fact, 5 from among the top 10 most influential MEPs belong to Renew, which is more than S&D and EPP combined. Given that S&D and EPP are often divided on this topic, Renew members could also leverage their central position to swing key votes.

Trends by country

Although France and Germany have a combined 6 MEPs in the top 10 most influential MEPs, MEPs from smaller countries are on average the most influential on agricultural policy. Alongside the influential Finns, Portuguese and Dutch also punch above their weight. Overall, the balance of power on agri-food is rather balanced geographically, with MEPs from different EU regions leading the debate.

If you are an institutional or socio-economic stakeholder and you are interested in a workshop about EU elections and/or the functioning of the EU institutions, contact us at [email protected]

Scroll back up to check our research in other sectors.  

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