What will the rising ECR and ID groups do in the next Parliament?

What will the rising ECR and ID groups do in the next Parliament?

As we’re getting close to the June EP2024 elections, it is becoming clear that the groups to the right of the EPP, namely ECR and ID, will gain a significant number of seats. Therefore, we are receiving an increasing number of questions from institutional and socio-economic stakeholders as to what can be expected from these groups in the next EP, and how they should engage (or not) with them.

We have put our typical EUmatrix analytical method at work in order to determine with objectivity and accuracy what the positions of these parties are on a wide range of key policies. 

We analysed hundreds of decisions on key paragraphs and amendments voted in the current EP term, one by one, in order to build a robust and representative database. We looked at how MEPs from Rassemblement National (FR, ID), Alternative for Germany (DE, ID), Lega (IT, ID), Brothers of Italy (IT,ECR), Vox (IT,ECR), New Flemish Alliance (BE, ECR), Law and Justice (PL, ECR) and Fidesz (HU, NI) voted on each of these. We have then compared their votes against those of all the other parties in the European Parliament in order to have the overall position of the Parliament as a whole as point of reference. 

Below we provide a table and charts explaining our findings, which shed light on where there is agreement and where there are disagreements between these parties.

Note: we are able to provide similar analyses or presentations of the positions of any national party or individual MEP on any topic (contact us at [email protected] for any request). Please note that for requests that involve substantial work we will charge a research fee. 

1) Table: overview of party positions on different topics

2) Interactive chart (click on the black arrows to switch between topics)

How much do their views count in the overall arithmetic of the decision-making in the European Parliament? 

In the EP term that is about to end, these groups have had a hard time pushing through their views, especially the ID group. Our data indicates that less than 1% of the amendments drafted by the ID group were approved by the EP plenary, while the ECR rate of success was higher (though still way below that of the centrist groups). 

However, it is one thing to have your own amendments adopted by the other groups, and another thing when your votes are needed by the other groups to push through their own amendments. Especially in cases where EPP and S&D voted against each other (which is increasingly the case), the votes of the smaller groups (the Greens and the Left on the one side, the ECR and ID on the other) usually matter. In such cases, the ECR and ID were still behind the other groups when it came to being part of the majoritarian coalition, but the percentage of situations when their votes mattered is more relevant (compared to when they tried to push their own amendments).

Importantly, success by political groups also depends on the policy area. For example, when it comes to environmental/Green Deal topics, right-wing groups (including the EPP) have been much less successful than even the Greens and The Left. See the example below concerning decisions on the decarbonisation of the EU energy mix. 

In the next Parliament these success rates may look different, due to the resizing of the groups, which pushes the median line of the EP generally more towards the right of the center. However, as shown in the charts below, any combination of group coalition will have around 50% of the seats/votes. 

Moreover, these figures are just on paper and a second layer of analysis is required in order to forecast outcomes, as groups don’t vote as blocs. Even individual MEPs don’t always follow the position of their group leadership on key issues. This means that in the next EP the swing voters (MEPs who are undecided / don’t have strong views in one direction or another) will make the difference in many instances. 

We will be working to provide the most appropriate tools to keep track of the actual positions of groups, national parties and individual MEPs on all topics. We facilitate democratic processes in the EU decision-making by strengthening an informed dialogue between those representing us in the EP and society. Contact us at [email protected] for details. 

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