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18 April, 2016

Trade Secrets: Who voted for the lobbyists in the EU parliament?

As expected, the European Parliament approved the Trade Secrets Protection directive by a large majority (503 in favour vs. 131 against).

  • Only the left groups (GUE/NGL, Greens/EFA) voted against the text, as well as a most EFDD (UKIP and 5 stars) and a few MEPs from the extreme-right (EFN);

  • The social-democrats (S&D), the liberals (ALDE), the Conservatives (EPP, ECR) and the French members of the extreme-right (EFN) voted overwhelmingly in favour of the text;

  • The text would have been adopted even if all members of the S&Ds group present (178) had voted against;

  • In general, political group discipline (MEPs voting along their political group's line) was very high in this vote. With the exception of the extreme-right, the level of cohesion in the vote was over 83% in all political groups. This reflects the fact that many of the 652 MEPs who took part in the vote (there are 750 MEPs in the European Parliament) had little knowledge of the text and relied on their political group to decide on how they should vote. The ''debate'' in plenary the evening before gathered less than 15 MEPs and lasted about 45 minutes.

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