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The next five years the European Union will be more fragmented than ever. This fragmentation is the key lesson of the 2019 European elections. However, contrary to the dominant narrative of the last decade or so, the old centrist blocs are not confronted with just a plethora of anti-system populist parties and groups.
This is the first in a series of posts on how members of the European Parliament (MEPs) appear on Twitter. This first post introduces the EP twittersphere, outlines limitations to the analysis, and points at some broad trends. The following posts will focus on specific aspects.
French President Emmanuel Macron wants to unite the progressives in the European Parliament against the threat posed by the far right, but the road is winding.
What is being said about the newly-elected members of the European institutions, and in what terms? Do specific emotions tend to predominate? What are the emerging issues? A textual analysis of 18,000 tweets posted after the 2019 European elections provides a bird’s-eye view of the political landscape.
Symbolism matters in politics and there is perhaps no greater negative image shaping perceptions of the European Union than what has been dubbed the 'travelling circus': twelve times a year members of the European Parliament relocate from Brussels to Strasbourg for a plenary session.
The monthly move of the European Parliament between Brussels and Strasbourg is an obvious target of criticism against the way EU institutions work. But the move costs way less than some parties argue.
The practice of empty chambers is not limited to the European Parliament. There are some good reasons behind it, but the pratice also highlights some problems with the EU's policy-making.
MEPs representing Romania and Bulgaria have much more clout than those representing many other countries, including Italy and France. This is demonstrated by an indicator developed by VoteWatch Europe.
Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament's 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and keep an eye on other European institutions.
The forthcoming European elections will set off a chain of events that in a few months could deeply change the European union's political landscape.