New Publication

Press release — 28 February 2013

New issue of EU-Russia Papers about voting on Russia in the European Parliament by Stefano Braghiroli

While both the European Union (EU) and the Russian Federation seem to be increasingly aware of the necessity to cooperate, their relationship is still marked by diplomatic ambivalence and lack of trust. In spite of the growing institutional role and greater activism of the European Parliament (EP) in the field of external relations, EU-Russia relations have rarely been explored from the EP’s perspective. This paper argues that the neglect of the EP is no longer justified. Bearing in mind the key domestic significance of the EU-Russia relations for many member states, this paper assesses the relative importance of legislators’ nationality and party group affiliation in determining their voting stance towards Russia and their propensity to vote along national or party group lines when Russia-related issues are at stake. The paper uses empirical data about 27 Russia-related votes held in the EP between 2004 and 2012. The analysis reveals that the voting stance of the Members of the EP (MEPs) on Russia varies greatly across national delegations and European-level party groups, according to geo-territorial or partisan/ideological factors. The analysis also suggests that MEPs’ voting stances towards Russia are, to a large extent, determined by their partisan affiliations, while the effect of nationality remains marginal.

Read this and other issues of the EU-Russia Papers