No differences – examining voting records in the European Parliament

New report shows that the three large groups in the European Parliament voted the same in 9 out of 10 final votes during 2013.

May 11th, 2014

A new report examining the voting records of European Parliament groups published by the Organization for European Interstate Cooperation, the EUD affiliated think-tank shows that the three large groups in the European Parliament vote the same in 9 out of 10 final votes during 2013. Previously published examinations of 2008 and 2010 voting records in the European Parliament confirm that there are no differences between the groups in final votes.

The report found that out of 338 final votes with Roll Call Vote (RCV) on resolutions and reports during 2013 the Christian democrats (EPP) and the Socialists (S&D) disagreed in only 7.7% of the votes. This means they agreed in 92.3% of all final votes with RCV during 2013.The three large groups in the European Parliament agree on most issues such as wanting to transfer more power from member states to the EU, massively increasing the EU-budget and the introduction of EU-taxes.

EPP and the Liberals in ALDE disagreed in 7.4% of final votes with RCV while S&D and ALDE also disagreed in 7.4% of final votes but on different issues. The few issues which EPP, S&D and ALDE disagreed on were almost all resolutions outside of the legislative process, meaning that they were only political statements. When the groups disagreed on legislative issues the groups were also split internally and could therefore not reach agreement. Most importantly – out of the 26 RCV final votes on 20 issues where EPP and S&D disagreed, only five were ordinary legislative procedure issues, meaning co-decision with the Council, covering four policy areas.

The member parties of these establishment groups do not communicate this fact clearly to their domestic electorates, instead their leaders try to show that the ideological conflicts are many and significant.

These statistics from 2013, backed up by similar figures from 2008 and 2010, show that the culture of compromise still exists with good effect in the European Parliament. This makes party-political differences artificial in the election debate.

The EPP and S&D groups disagreed on the following final votes under the ordinary legislative procedure during 2013:

• Sound level of motor vehicles
• Timing of auctions of greenhouse gas allowances (voted twice)
• Measures for the recovery of European eel stocks
• Third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders

Read more about the OEIC and its activities at www.oeiceurope.com

"If it's a Yes, we will say 'on we go', and if it's a No we will say 'we continue'." Jean Claude Juncker, leading up to the 2005 French referendum on the EU Constitution.
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