The EU is facing one of the biggest economic challenges in its history. Covid-19 has abruptly put the EU’s objectives of reducing economic inequality, boosting investment and creating jobs in jeopardy. Despite adopting an unprecedented economic recovery package, there are acute fears businesses and individuals across the EU will feel the economic shock of the pandemic. Achieving an ‘economy that works for all’ has never been such a challenge.
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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Positions of influence in relevant parliamentary Committees are clear determining factors in the Influence Index for economic policy. The Chair of the European Parliament’s ECON committee takes the top spot for political and social influence, with four of the top five influencers sitting on the ECON committee. The Chairs of the Committee on Budgets and Committee on Regional Development also make the top five.
INFLUENCE BY COUNTRY
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) representing the so-called frugal four countries – Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands – rank low for average political influence, suggesting they have much less influence than their governments are able to exert through the unanimity voting procedure in the Council, with Sweden ranking last in terms of average influence.
Instead, smaller Member States emerge as key influencers, with Portuguese MEPs holding most political influence in proportion to the size of their group.
INFLUENCE BY POLITICAL GROUP
The EPP narrowly pips Renew Europe to the post as the most politically influential group on economic matters, even though they rank relatively low for influence on social media platforms.
Despite the general leftward tilt seen in the current Parliament, the centre-to-the-right has the most influence in this specific category. This may owe to other policy priorities such as the Green Deal dominating the agendas of the more left-leaning parties.