Daniel Freund

8. July 2024 Anti-Corruption

Voting Behavior of ECR MEPs in the European Parliament: Neither Pro-EU nor Pro-Rule of Law

During the last legislative period, almost all members of the far-right “European Conservatives and Reformists” (ECR) group in the European Parliament predominantly voted against resolutions and legislative proposals aimed at protecting the rule of law in the EU or advancing the European project. This is the result of an analysis of their voting behavior conducted by Daniel Freund. The right-wing populist faction includes members from Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Fratelli d’Italia, as well as representatives from the Czech ODS and the Polish PiS.

Based on their voting behavior, no national delegations within the ECR faction can be considered “pro-EU” or “pro-rule of law.” Both Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People’s Party, and Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (also EPP), have repeatedly indicated that cooperation with parts of the ECR faction is possible if they meet the three conditions of being pro-rule of law, pro-EU, and pro-Ukraine.

How does the far-right ECR faction measure up against these criteria? An overview:

Pro-EU? The ECR faction predominantly opposed all of the following reforms in the last legislative period: granting the European Parliament the right to initiate legislation, joint procurement of defence goods for the Union, and simplifying electoral laws for EU citizens living abroad.

Pro-Ukraine? The ECR faction mostly supported measures such as EU candidate status for Ukraine, short- and long-term financial aid for reconstruction, and preparations for EU membership.

Pro-rule of law? The ECR faction mostly opposed these parliamentary demands: stronger measures to restore an independent judiciary in Poland and Hungary, including finalizing the procedure to revoke voting rights for both governments, suing the European Commission for inaction on the rule of law mechanism, and fully investigating the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta. In the case of Hungary, they opposed eight (!) resolutions.

The Green group, on the other hand, voted in favor of all the above-mentioned measures with a large majority. 

Daniel Freund, Green member of the European Parliament, comments:

“EPP group leader Manfred Weber has repeatedly stated that cooperation with his group requires meeting three conditions: being ‘pro-EU,’ ‘pro-Ukraine,’ and ‘pro-rule of law.’ Analyzing the voting behavior of the past five years, particularly on the rule of law, reveals that there are no members in ECR who meet these conditions. If Europe’s Christian Democrats are serious about their criteria, then Von der Leyen and Weber should form a coalition with the Greens. Anything else would be mere window dressing.”

Which votes did we analyze?

You can find the complete analysis here:


Analyzing the voting behavior of the past five years, particularly on the rule of law, reveals that there are no members in ECR who meet Manfred Weber's conditions.


The EU can be our best tool in the fight against corruption, money laundering and tax evasion. But it must also be used in the right way. In the future, the EU should fight corruption much more decisively. That is why I have set up an Intergroup against corruption in the European Parliament.