End-of-term scorecard, part 3: How often have Euro-sceptic/far-right parties voted together in ? VoteWatch Europe special policy brief 5/2014

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1 End-of-term scorecard, part 3: How often have Euro-sceptic/far-right parties voted together in ? VoteWatch Europe special policy brief 5/2014 Introduction This special VoteWatch Europe policy brief contains a quantitative analysis of the voting trends during the 7 th European Parliament ( ). It looks in particular to the voting records of seven Eurosceptic/far-right parties, with the aim of showing how these parties voting records match. As the formation of a new group in the far right of the EP is very possible, this exercise is meant to show how much the Eurosceptic parties have in common and where they could look for allies. The first part of the policy brief analyses the overall voting match between the seven national parties chosen, but also in key policy domains, during The second part shifts the focus to the mainstream groups in the EP, too show how the main national parties composing them matched in voting preferences. The analysis shows that on average, the seven Eurosceptic parties voting match is just over 50%. In other words, in each combination of two far-right parties, half of the time they vote the same way and the other half they vote against each other. There are two rather counter-intuitive findings: firstly, the French Front national (FN) and Austrian Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ) vote together quite often (86% of votes). Secondly, the Front national and the Dutch Partij Voor de Vrijheid (PVV), possible allies in a new far-right EP group, have voted against each other 49% of times. In fact, it turns out that for the PVV UKIP would be a better match than FN, as PVV and UKIP voted together in 67% of cases. By contrasts, the matching scores between parties belonging to the EPP, S&D, ALDE, Greens/EFA and ECR groups have been much higher. Note: This report shows only factual information based on the roll-call votes cast in EP plenary, and does not seek to express views on the reasons behind the MEPs votes. For more information, the websites of the MEPs can offer more detailed explanations of their votes and activities in the EP. For detailed figures, please refer to the Annexes.

2 Contents Abbreviations Matching scores of Eurosceptic/far-right national parties Matching scores of Eurosceptic/far-right national parties in key policy areas... 4 Annex I: Euro-sceptic/far-right parties voting match ( )... 5 Annex II: matching scores in mainstream EP groups ( )... 6 Abbreviations ALDE ECR EFD EP EPP EU Greens/EFA GUE-NGL MEP(s) NI S&D Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe European Conservatives and Reformists Group Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group European Parliament Group of the European People s Party (Christian Democrats) European Union Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance Confederal Group of the European United Left Nordic Green Left Member(s) of the European Parliament Non-attached Members Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament VoteWatch Europe is an independent organisation set up to promote better debates and greater transparency in EU decision-making, by providing easy access to, and analysis of, the votes and other activities of the European Parliament (EP) and the EU Council of Ministers (Council). VoteWatch uses the EU Institutions' own attendance, voting and activity data - available through their websites - to give a full overview of MEP and Member State activities. VoteWatch Europe is funded by grants from Adessium Foundation, Fondation Charles Leopold Mayer/Citizens for Europe, the Open Society Foundations and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. It is supported by Burson-Marsteller and White and Case. VoteWatch Europe Avenue de Tervueren, Box 1, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium, tel ǀ ǀ Facebook: /VoteWatchEurope EU Transparency Register: VoteWatch Europe 2

3 1. Matching scores of Eurosceptic/far-right national parties This policy brief analyses the matching voting scores between seven Eurosceptic/far right parties represented in the European Parliament during the mandate. Out of these seven parties, three were members of the European Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group, while the rest were non-affiliated. These parties are: Party Abbreviation Member State EP Group Affiliation Number of MEPs (as at ) United Kingdom United UKIP Independence Party Kingdom EFD 8 Lega Nord LN Italy EFD 6 Slovenská národná strana SNS Slovakia EFD 1 Front National FN France NI 3 Partij Voor de Vrijheid PVV Netherlands NI 3 Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs FPÖ Austria NI 2 Vlaams Belang VB Belgium NI 1 All these parties are expected to be represented again in the future EP, some with a significantly larger number of Members. UKIP might have 24 MEPs, and FN 23, according to the 14 May PollWatch2014 prediction. The non-attached parties included in this policy brief are expected to consider forming a new EP group - the European Alliance for Freedom (EAF), from the transnational party with that name. It takes at least 25 MEPs from 7 Member States to form a new EP group, and if the predictions will materialise, EAF will reach that threshold. However, an analysis of the voting matches between these seven national parties shows little compatibility. On average, these national parties have a 51% voting match. The best match is between the French FN and Austrian FPÖ, both non-attached parties, which agreed in a proportion of 86%. All the other scores are significantly lower, below 70%. It is interesting to notice that the two parties that are at the core of a right wing electoral alliance that might materialise into the EAF group, FN and PVV, voted the same in just 51% of the cases, a relatively small match. PVV matches better with UKIP (67% - the second highest match overall). Slovak Slovenská národná strana (SNS) had registered the lowest matches 33% with UKIP and 37% with PVV. Its best match was with Italian Lega Nord (57%). VoteWatch Europe 3

4 By contrast, if we look at some of the matching scores of parties belonging to the mainstream political groups, we see a very different picture: In the EPP Group, the French Union pour un mouvement populaire (UMP) had a very high match with the German Christlich Demokratische Union (CDU) of 95%. In the S&D Group, the British Labour Party had a match of 85% with the French Parti socialiste (PS) and 89% with the German Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD). In the ALDE Group, the British Liberal Democrats had a 90% match with the German Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP) and 85% with the French Mouvement Démocrate. In the Greens/EFA Group, the German Bündnis 90/Die Grünen had a match with the French Europe Ecologie Les Verts of 96%. In the ECR Group, the British Conservatives matched with the Czech Občanská demokratická strana (ODS) 92% and with the Polish Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (PiS) 85%. 2. Matching scores of Eurosceptic/far-right national parties in key policy areas In the key policy areas, things don t differ considerably. A look at the civil liberties, internal market and economic and monetary affairs legislation fields proves that the matching scores between these parties are low, with some notable exceptions. a) Civil liberties, justice and home affairs Again, the best matching score is between FN and FPÖ (92%). The lowest matching score is identical to the overall one, 33%, between SNS and UKIP. On average, in the civil liberties field, the seven national parties matched 55%, a slightly higher rate than the overall one. b) Internal market and consumer protection When it comes to internal market issues, the best match is again between FPÖ and FN (89%). These two parties also had average matches with VB (77% FN-VB; 72% FPÖ -VB). A very low match was registered between UKIP and SNS (12%). On average, the match was of 44% in the internal market and consumer protection policy area. c) Economic and monetary affairs The matching scores in this policy area are identical to the overall ones. On overage, the seven national parties had a 51% match. The best match was between FN and FPÖ (86%), while the lowest match was between UKIP and SNS (33%). This shows that the seven national parties included in the report voted the same only on approximately half of the votes on average. The individual matching scores are relatively low. However, Front National and Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs had high matching scores overall but also in different key policy domains. Front National and the Dutch Partij Voor de Vrijheid had low matches, the latter seeming to have a better compatibility with United Kingdom Independence Party. VoteWatch Europe 4

5 Annex I: Euro-sceptic/far-right parties voting match ( ) Overall roll-call votes PVV 67% 51% 48% 43% 37% 55% UKIP 67% 47% 43% 37% 33% 48% FN 51% 47% 86% 54% 45% 64% FPÖ 48% 43% 86% 53% 45% 62% LN 43% 37% 54% 53% 57% 54% SNS 37% 33% 45% 45% 57% 47% VB 55% 48% 64% 62% 54% 47% Average match: 51% Roll-call votes on civil liberties, justice and home affairs PVV 68% 63% 64% 57% 38% 68% UKIP 68% 47% 43% 37% 33% 48% FN 63% 47% 92% 54% 48% 74% FPÖ 64% 43% 92% 54% 46% 74% LN 57% 37% 54% 54% 54% 57% SNS 38% 33% 48% 46% 54% 42% VB 68% 48% 74% 74% 57% 42% Average match: 55% Roll-call votes on internal market and consumer protection PVV 68% 43% 37% 27% 26% 36% UKIP 68% 32% 23% 16% 12% 32% FN 43% 32% 89% 47% 36% 77% FPÖ 37% 23% 89% 53% 45% 72% LN 27% 16% 47% 53% 57% 54% SNS 26% 12% 36% 45% 57% 50% VB 36% 32% 77% 72% 54% 50% Average match: 44% VoteWatch Europe 5

6 Roll-call votes on economic and monetary affairs PVV 67% 51% 48% 43% 37% 55% UKIP 67% 47% 43% 37% 33% 48% FN 51% 47% 86% 54% 45% 64% FPÖ 48% 43% 86% 53% 45% 62% LN 43% 37% 54% 53% 57% 54% SNS 37% 33% 45% 45% 57% 47% VB 55% 48% 64% 62% 54% 47% Average match: 51% Annex II: matching scores in mainstream EP groups ( ) Overall roll-call votes EP Group National party 1 National party 2 Match EPP Union pour un mouvement populaire (France) Christlich Demokratische Union (Germany) 95% S&D Labour Party (UK) Parti Socialiste (France) 85% S&D Labour Party (UK) Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands 89% (Germany) ALDE Liberal Democrats (UK) Freie Demokratische Partei (Germany) 90% ALDE Liberal Democrats (UK) Mouvement Démocrate (France) 85% Greens/EFA Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Europe Ecologie Les Verts (Germany) (France) 96% ECR Conservative Party (UK) Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Poland) 85% ECR Conservative Party (UK) Občanská demokratická strana (Czech Republic) 92% VoteWatch Europe 6

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