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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 behaviour. To read the full methodology, click here
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 bigger political and societal forces / pressures that surround them and that they are networking with.
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 regulation on the energy sector, but also the direction in which each of them is working to influence this regulation, e.g. whether they promote a more restrictive or a more liberalised regulatory framework. Particular attention should be paid to the MEPs who are in the middle, that is MEPs who have both a fair level of influence and moderated views, because in the current fragmented political landscape, these MEPs (swing voters) are the ones that make the difference - it is their votes that ultimately decide whether a key amendment is approved or not.
Note: in the chart below, only the names of top MEPs are revealed. To uncover the full picture, contact us at [email protected]
Top 5 MEPs on energy
Currently serving his fourth parliamentary term, Romanian MEP Cristian-Silviu Bușoi (EPP) stands at the top of our list of the most influential MEPs on energy. He is notably a member of the Conference of Committee Chairs, presiding over the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. He is influential in energy legislation also through his role as rapporteur on the "Research Fund for Coal and Steel" and shadow rapporteur on the "Revision of the Market Stability Reserve for the EU Emissions Trading System".
On the second position stands German MEP Jens Geier (S&D). He is especially active on energy legislation, being rapporteur on "A European Strategy for Hydrogen" and opinion rapporteur for the report on a WTO-compatible EU carbon border adjustment mechanism, as well as a participant to numerous plenary debates on energy.
Markus Pieper, MEP since 2004 for the EPP Group, stands in third place on this list. Member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, he is also Vice-Chair of the WG Economy and Environment in his political group, dealing with energy-related policies. Importantly, Pieper is rapporteur on the Renewable Energy Directive.
Polish MEP Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR) is fourth in our list. He is Vice-Chair and ECR Coordinator in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. He was also rapporteur on the Trans-European energy infrastructure and shadow rapporteur on the Gas and hydrogen markets regulation.
Fifth most influential MEP on energy policies is Jutta Paulus (Greens/EFA). Preoccupied with environmental issues, Paulus is rapporteur on the "Carbon dioxide emissions from maritime transport" procedure and shadow rapporteur on various reports such as the Energy Efficiency Directive and "A European strategy for offshore renewable energy".
Trends by national groups
The weight of the biggest countries, Germany, France and Italy is felt on energy policy, as these countries exert significant influence due to their large number of MEPs. Yet, smaller countries from North-Western Europe tend to punch above their weight on this policy area, thus exerting more influence than it would be expected according to their size. The Irish and the Danish MEPs are proportionally the most active on energy legislation and they are in the 3rd and, respectively, 2nd place in terms of proportional influence on energy (all factors considered). Overall, the Finns outperform all other national groups on this topic.
It is possible that other national groups will become more active on this topic as the debate becomes more polarised along both political and national lines. For instance, the Czechs are well positioned to influence energy policy, due to their relevant leadership positions in the European Parliament, and that is also the case of the Romanians, although to a lesser extent.
Trends by political groups
The Greens are proportionally the most influential on energy topics, as their MEPs are highly engaged with this subject. This is due especially to their significant legislative activity on the energy mix. However, it is also important to keep into account the small size of the Greens, as the EPP remains able to exert a bigger influence as long as the group is united. This is also the reason why the objection to the taxonomy decision on the status of gas and nuclear as sustainable investment sources was defeated. Importantly, the S&D Group seems to be punching below its weight in this policy area, due to more limited legislative action and divisions within the group that affect its voting performance. Increasing tension on energy topics might decrease the cohesion of the centre-left coalition which has been dominant on this topic in the initial part of this legislative term.
Note: An earlier version of this report placed Paulus and Buzek on spot 4th and 5th (respectively), which was before we processed the latest available legislative activities information which triggered these slight adjustments in the ranking
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