With the 2014 European Parliament elections on the horizon, there is growing concern from European leaders that the current climate means that the populist radical right – as well as Eurosceptic parties – will make significant gains in the European Parliament (EP).
To understand what this might mean in practice, it is essential to investigate how the populist radical right currently operates in the EP. There has been much research on the ideology of the populist radical right and the attitudes of its supporters – but less on how the MEPs actually function at the European level. This report uses data and case studies on roll-call voting from VoteWatch Europe (www.votewatch.eu) in order to investigate the behaviour of populist radical right MEPs. It aims to depict the current behaviour of the populist radical right in the European Parliament to policy- makers, politicians and citizens, to ensure that future strategy and policy-making is guided by evidence-based and context-sensitive analysis and interpretation.