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This analysis measures the influence that Members of the European Parliament are exerting over EU legislation and documents that shape digital 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 behaviour. To read the full methodology, click here.
NB: we will soon publish an assessment of the Commissioners’ performance and their chances of being re-elected. If you wish to contribute to this assessment, feel free to take our quick survey.
-The top 5 most influential MEPs shaping digital policy are: Axel Voss, Cristian-Silviu Bușoi, Christel Schaldemose, Andreas Schwab and Anna Cavazzini.
-Among the large delegations, the Germans are particularly active on digital policy, as shown by the strong German presence in our list of top 5 influencers. But the delegation that tends to punch above its weight when it comes to proportional influence are, unsurprisingly, the Estonians.
-Although EPP members tend to be strongly represented in our list of top digital influencers, Renew members are (proportionally speaking) the top performers in this policy area. Given the increasing complexity of this policy area, this also depends on the specific sub-topics.
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 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 digital sector, but also the direction in which each of them is working to influence this policy area, 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, i.e. they have both a fair level of influence and moderate views, because in the current fragmented political landscape, these MEPs (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: in the chart below, only the names of top MEPs are revealed. To uncover the full picture, contact us at [email protected].
NB: We expect a significant turnover in the composition of the European Parliament after the 2024 elections. According to our latest calculations, only 42% of the current cohort of MEPs will be re-elected next year, although the chances of the top MEPs to make it are higher (but only slightly). Contact us at [email protected] to get timely predictions and updates on the future composition of the European parliament, including the likely new MEPs and their backgrounds.
Trends by national groups
Among the large delegations, the Germans are particularly active on digital policy, as shown by the strong German presence in our list of top 5 influencers. This puts them in stark contrast with the lower level of activity of French MEPs (who are not as engaged with the topic of the digital transition as the French goverment). It is likely that the Germans will keep pursuing key leadership positions on digital topics after the 2024 elections, given the increasing importance of digital dossiers in the EU regulatory landscape.
However, when looking at the performance of national groups proportionally to their size, the Estonians stand out, as expected (especially Ansip, Kaljurand and Toom). Danes (e.g. Schaldemose and Melchior), Czechs (Dlabajovà and Charanzovà), Bulgarians (Vitanov and Maydell) and Romanians (e.g. Bușoi, Tudorache and Nica) are also among the most "digitally-minded" MEPs.
Trends by political groups
Although EPP members tend to be strongly represented in our list of top digital influencers, Renew members are (proportionally speaking) the top performers in this policy area. Out of the top 20 most influential MEPs on digital, 8 of them are from Renew Europe, although their influence is somehow fragmented as they are active in different committees or dealing with different sub-topics.
Yet, digital policy is very complex as it encompasses an increasing number of issues, which means that different groups and MEPs can be more or less influential depending on the sub-topics (especially since coalitions change on a case-by-case basis).
Would you like to find out who are the MEPs with moderate views that are most likely to make or break majorities on specific issues in the current European Parliament or after the next elections? Feel free to contact us at [email protected] for more information on our data-driven services.
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