SLOVAKIA'S representatives in the European Parliament (EP) have been ranked fourth in being present for votes during plenary sessions of the EP, according to statistics from a recently launched website, www.votewatch.eu.
The statistics revealed that Austrian MEPs were the most disciplined for attending votes while Italian deputies had the highest number of missed votes, reported public broadcaster Slovak Radio.
Votewatch, which aims to bring more transparency into the European decision-making process, has
collected data about the attendance of MEPs, their voting records and their statements during sessions of the EP which enables visitors to the website to compare the activities of the MEPs according to their country, their national political party affiliation and their affiliation within the various EP caucuses.
In this way the developers of the website also want to draw the attention of European citizens to the upcoming parliamentary elections that will take place in early June in all European countries. The elections have had notoriously low voter turnout, especially by citizens in newer member states, including Slovakia.
The website was created by political analysts from the European Policy Centre in Brussels, the London School of Economics, the Qvorum Institute in Bucharest and Universite Libre de Bruxelles. The authors analyse the activities of MEPs in the 2004-2009 period and plan to update the website’s data after every vote in the EP.
“The authors of the project want to support the transparency of European policies so that voters can watch online how their MEPs vote on important questions that touch their lives,” said Andrea Sitárová from Donath-Burson-Marsteller, a public relations firm, which together with the Open Society Institute and Electionmall.com are supporting the non-profit votewatch website.
The website also wants to focus on the voting patterns of the governments of the member states in the Council of Ministers and plans to launch this phase of the project at the end of 2009 or early in 2010.