EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

In an article published by EurActiv on 1 December, ‘Monitoring your MEP: Mission impossible?‘, it was indicated that there is very little information available on how MEPs behave inside the European Parliament.

We, the founders of a new project called VoteWatchEU (to be launched on www.votewatch.eu early next year), would like to share with you our plans for changing this lack of accountability of EU decision-makers.

In the US, interest groups monitor the voting behaviour of US congressmen very closely (e.g. via the Americans for Democratic Action website). Before ADA, the media had a harder time reporting about such issues and holding congressmen accountable, as well as generating real competition among candidates.

Monitoring of MEPs’ voting behaviour – also with the possibility to create scales of MEPs’ positions on a range of policy issues – needs to happen in Europe as well if the media and voters are to become more involved in EU affairs, especially ahead of the June 2009 elections to the European Parliament.

Our VoteWatchEU project will provide updated information on all 785 MEPs’ voting records, presenting details on how they have voted within various policy areas. In a nutshell, VoteWatchEU will make it possible to look up one’s local MEP and see what he/she stands for, get various rankings for the most pro-/anti track records within the different areas, and find out when and how coalitions form between different political groups or between specific nationalities.

All of this happens on the basis of a multi-sponsor approach, whereby a network of interests and expertise provide the necessary professional input to develop a highly sophisticated website and related activities. Also, since this project is closely linked to a number of national capitals, particular interests either in the Brussels ‘bubble’ or in national politics will not able to affect the content of the project.

Monitoring and reporting of policymakers’ decision records is perhaps the single most constructive contribution which can be provided at this stage of the EU debate (and we should mention that the website will subsequently be extended to cover decision-making in the Council).

It is by giving the citizens a choice between representatives of different political platforms that interest can be generated in any political system.

Yours,

Sara Hagemann
Co-founder of VoteWatchEU
Policy Analyst at European Policy Centre (EPC)

Please check www.votewatch.eu in the New Year or contact us through secretariat@votewatch.eu if you would like more information about this project.

Author :
Print

Comments

  1. The Votewatch demo site looks very similar to the Romanian site that was reputed to be closing. Co-incidence? Or is there more to this whole story than meets the eye?

  2. Although the single most important contribution has an aura of hype, the project looks interesting enough.

    Monitoring Council proceedings and votes is extremely important. Hopefully expansion does not take long.

  3. John, thanks for reacting to our plans. It’s true that the demo resembles the IPP project – but one of the founders of the VoteWatchEU project is also the person behind the IPP website, but who has now left IPP. We had actually just included the demo to give an idea what we meant with ‘monitoring of MEPs’, but now decided to remove it as we realised it confuses the message. A new design and demo will be posted very shortly though, and we’re will have everything up and running with the full version not too long from now. Hope to hear your reactions to that as well.

    Best,

    Sara Hagemann

  4. Dear Sara,

    I am the one behind the project. And still with IPP. So I do not know who fooled you that is a founder of the website.

    We are NOT closing the website. we have secured funds and now working on ajax GUI that it will be much user frendly. More like an stock exchange tracker that you can customise yourself.

    Best of luck for your initiative anyhow. There is room for anybody, especially in the election year.

    Adrian

  5. Dear all,

    sounds like a great idea and it has been always in my mind how can one indepedently follow the decisions and voting of MEPs and i hope that if the correct platform is establish to push it even further to national level as well.

    I wish you all the best.

    Best regards,

    Alexandros Filippidis
    Ea Energy Analyses

  6. I really hope your site will succeed, it is really something we need at an EU Level. I am involved with the campaign for the next EU elections in France inspite of being born in the UK. Nobody here in France even knows their EU constituency’s let alone the names of their MEP’s or the names of the Eu groups. I started off with simple information as I thought about the role of the EU Parlement, the Commission etc but this was to complicated for even people who are interested in Europe.
    If I can help you in any way please let me know as this is one of my goals after the next EU elections.
    lesley.joines@yahoo.fr

  7. It is a very good idea. That way the MEP can be followed. A citizen can have an idea about the important issues. So the level of integration of Europe can be raised

Comments are closed.