What is the Influence Index?
The Influence Index uses data and insight to score each Member of the European Parliament (MEP) on their political and social media influence.The Index looks at influence holistically across all EU policies, but also ranks MEPs based on their influence on four specific policy areas.
The Index is not an assessment of MEPs’ work-ethic or loyalty to their constituents, but rather a data-driven analysis of the level of power the MEP currently wields. The rankings represent empirical measures and are not an endorsement of the MEPs or their positions.
The current Index uses data from the 12 months preceding August 2021.
What is influence and how is it calculated?
MEPs are scored based on two independent dimensions of influence:
The MEPs’ political clout in the EU institutions. The score indicates their ability to impact legislation, shape the political agenda, win votes and gain positions of power.
The political influence score is based on:
- Leadership: Appointments to positions of influence in the European Parliament or the political groups.
- Legislative power: The MEP’s ability to influence legislation, by becoming a rapporteur, shadow rapporteur or opinion rapporteur. We assign more points to rapporteur positions under Ordinary Legislative Procedure compared to non-legislative reports.
- Performance: Participation in the voting sessions, and the extent to which they vote along with their political groups and on the majority side.
- Network: Judged based on time spent in Brussels, seniority, experience and domestic ties.
The strength of the MEPs’ social media presence. The score indicates their ability to reach audiences online, shape the public conversation, and build a community of support for their ideas.
The social influence score is based on Twitter data from the past 12 months, and considers:
- The size of the MEP’s Twitter follower base
- The number of Twitter engagements (retweets and likes) on policy-relevant* posts
- The number of policy-relevant posts published
- The number of times the MEP is mentioned by other MEPs in policy-relevant posts
*Policy-relevant posts are Tweets mentioning policy keywords in any of the 24 EU official languages.
What is the European Parliament and how are MEPs elected?
The European Parliament is, together with the Council of the EU, one of the two EU co-legislators. Its 705 Members are elected every five years to represent their country when debating and voting EU legislation.
What are the Political groups?
Members of the European Parliament sit in political groups. There are currently 7 political groups in the European Parliament.
- EPP – Group of the European People’s Party
- S&D – Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
- Renew Europe – Renew Europe Group
- Greens/EFA – Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance
- ID – Identity and Democracy Group
- ECR – European Conservatives and Reformists Group
- The Left – The Left in the European Parliament
Some Members do not belong to any political group and are known as non-attached Members.
Which countries are represented?
MEPs represent the 27 official EU Member States. Seats are allocated to Member States according to the size of their population. Germany, with the biggest population, has 96 seats, whilst Malta, Luxembourg and Cyprus have 6 seats each.
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VoteWatch Europe is a leading Brussels-based independent organisation specialised in combining large data sets of EU political data with cutting-edge expertise in order to provide the best insights into EU politics.
Independent studies ranked VoteWatch Europe as the top influencer in the category of think tanks communicating on EU affairs.