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New website puts MEP voting records under the spotlight

The complete voting records of MEPs are being made accessible online for the first time with the launch of a new website aimed at promoting better debates and greater transparency in EU decision-making.

The website www.votewatch.eu| uses the European Parliament's own attendance, voting and activity data - available through the Parliament's website - to give a full overview of MEP activities, broken down by nationality, national political party and European party grouping. Using sophisticated statistical methods, developed by Professor Simon Hix at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Abdul Noury at the University of Brussels, the website covers the Parliament's activities during this entire term and will be updated following each voting session in plenary.

Professor Simon Hix said: 'Despite the influence the European Parliament has over our lives, the activities of the MEPs can seem a distant reality. VoteWatch.eu is designed to be an easy and accessible tool for anyone to see what MEPs do, and how the national and European parties behave in the EU's only elected institution.'

Votewatch.eu will be expanded in a second phase to also include information on governments' decision records in the Council of Ministers. This second phase is planned for late 2009/early 2010.

The website is the brainchild of Sara Hagemann from the European Policy Centre in Brussels - who will be joining the LSE European Institute in October 2009 - Professor Simon Hix of the LSE Government Department, Doru Frantescu from Qvorum Institute in Bucharest, and Abdul Noury at the University of Brussels.

The website's authors have carefully checked all information regarding the accuracy of the MEPs' activities, voting records and political allegiances. Although they are confident the information provided on the website is accurate and up-to-date, they have pledged to immediately correct any factual errors.

Votewatch.eu is a not-for-profit organisation supported by the Open Society Institute, Burson-Marsteller and Electionmall.com.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) studies the social sciences in their broadest sense, with an academic profile spanning a wide range of disciplines, from economics, politics and law, to sociology, information systems and accounting and finance.

The School has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence and is one of the most international universities in the world. Its study of social, economic and political problems focuses on the different perspectives and experiences of most countries. From its foundation LSE has aimed to be a laboratory of the social sciences, a place where ideas are developed, analysed, evaluated and disseminated around the globe. Visit http://www.lse.ac.uk| for more information.

www.votewatch.eu| will be launched on 11 May from 14.00 - 15.30 (local time) at the Residence Palace, 155 Rue de la Loi, 1040 Brussels.

The website will go live at 14.30 BST

For further information please contact:
Sue Windebank
LSE press office
T: 0207 849 4624
E: s.windebank@lse.ac.uk|

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