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Datum objave: 20.04.2019

40 MEPs Who Mattered in 2014 - 2019

Croatia’s charmer-in-chief seeks to woo Brussels Prime Minister Andrej Plenković tries to overcome skepticism that Zagreb can become a model EU pupil

40 MEPs Who Mattered in 2014 - 2019

Who were the key players in Brussels and Strasbourg? — By RYAN HEATH

In Brussels, the power to initiate laws rests with the European Commission, and the political will that makes or breaks legislation lies with national governments in the Council. That dynamic used to leave the European Parliament out in the cold. No longer.

Over the past few years, the Parliament has been stealing the show in EU decision-making. Its MEPs have played key roles in shaping trade deals and budget decisions, and have driven crucial reforms such as ending mobile roaming charges and passing sweeping new copyright laws.

As MEPs’ terms come to an end this month ahead of the European Parliament election in May, we’re looking back at the 40 lawmakers who have had the greatest impact on the most high-profile debates of the past five years: on the rule of law across the bloc; on transparency; on regulating markets; and tackling climate change, to name a few.

This list isn’t a round-up of pro-European legislators. In fact, many MEPs chosen here have injected a heavy dose of Euroskepticism into the political discussion. Our goal is to pick out those who have wielded tangible political influence, set the agenda and stood out from their peers, driving trends both within the legislative arena and in the wider EU political debate.

Some on this list matter for what they did after they left the Parliament, rather than what they did as MEPs. Among the 109 MEPs who quit during this parliamentary term, at least four left to become prime minister or president in their home country.

Andrej Plenković


Plenković is an increasingly rare breed of European politician, a low-key and successful moderate who describes himself as “devoid of extremes and populism.” He left national politics in Croatia, where he was an MP, to join the European Parliament when his country joined the EU in 2013. Within three years, he was back home as prime minister. At 49 years old, Plenković seems destined to become a compromise candidate for an EU or United Nations top job — the sort that emerges when contenders from bigger countries cancel each other out.






Croatia’s charmer-in-chief seeks to woo Brussels

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković tries to overcome skepticism that Zagreb can become a model EU pupil

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was on a charm offensive in Brussels this week, declaring that the EU's newest member wants to be part of its inner circle. But he has his work cut out to persuade other European leaders that it belongs there.

Plenković was making all the right noises, praising French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and saying his country wanted to join the passport-free Schengen zone in 2020 and hoped to adopt the euro further down the line.

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