With the von der Leyen Commission’s agenda grounded in the twin digital and climate transitions, and the Covid-19 crisis rapidly accelerating the digitalization of European economy and society, digital policy looks set to remain a leading item on the EU policy agenda.
The analysis uses data and insights from the one-year period up to August 2020. There have since been some changes in European parliamentary seats and leadership positions.
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When it comes to digital policy, Europe’s female Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) make their mark. The parliamentarians in the upper rankings of the Influence Index are mostly female; a clear sign the Parliament is setting a strong example for the inclusion of women in tech and digital policymaking.
Experience also counts. Four of the five most influential MEPs previously served in the 2014-2019 parliamentary term. Interestingly, as digital policy cuts across multiple committees (IMCO, ITRE, JURI, LIBE, CULT), committee leadership does not seem to play a prominent role in determining political influence when compared to other policy areas.
INFLUENCE BY COUNTRY
MEPs from smaller EU countries are disproportionately influential in shaping digital policy in the European Parliament. These are often digital-friendly, agile nations where rapid digital transformation is taking place. Many MEPs representing these countries still underperform on the social influence score because Twitter is not as widely used in these countries.
Malta, Estonia, Latvia and Romania fare well for political influence, mirroring, to some extent, the quicker pace of digital transformation in these parts of Europe, i.e. Estonians are innovating in the digitalisation of the public administration, while Romanians enjoy the fastest internet speed in the EU.