This website introduces the results of a two-year-long research project covering the foreign policy-related votes of members of the European Parliament in the current, 9th European parliamentary cycle (2019-2024) with a special focus on seven Central and Southeastern European countries (V4: Chechia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia; Austria, Bulgaria, Romania) to establish their openness to authoritarian influences. Political Capital has already published extensively on how authoritarian states, particularly Russia, try to influence national and European political processes and elections. This time, we developed a novel methodology to quantify MEPs’ openness to cooperating with or backing the interests of the Russian Federation and China, as well as other autocratic states. We hope our results will help understand European foreign policy decision-making and pinpoint the pathways through which European policies can be influenced from outside with the “cutting edge of sharp power.” While this research focuses on influence in the European Union, and especially the European Parliament, the patterns are very similar in other international institutions as well.

This website contains data on the votes cast by all Members of the European Parliament since the start of the 9th European parliamentary cycle on 2 July 2019, and short introductions to MEPs from the seven countries in our spotlight. Our local partners from Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria were instrumental in writing the introductory profiles. These short descriptions help understand the votes of MEPs from the focus countries and help readers go beyond the numbers themselves to get a more complete picture on the views of MEPs. We are grateful to the contributors listed below. We are also grateful to the National Endowment for Democracy for partnering us and supporting this research project. All errors and omissions are our own.

The following researchers contributed to the website:

  • Péter Krekó, director, Political Capital (HU); 2019-2021
  • Patrik Szicherle, analyst, Political Capital (HU); 2019-2021
  • Csaba Molnár, quantitative analyst, Political Capital (HU); 2019-2021


  • Ján Bartoš, researcher, Institute for Public Affairs (SK); 2019-2021
  • Rumena Filipova, research fellow, Centre for the Study of Democracy (BG); 2019-2021
  • Elena Ivanova, Centre for the Study of Democracy (BG); 2019-2020
  • Michał Kacewicz, journalist (PL); 2020-2021
  • Grigorij Meseznikov, founder, Institute for Public Affairs (SK); 2019-2021
  • Ilia Curto Pelle, Centre for the Study of Democracy (BG); 2019-2020
  • Simon Pinkas, project assistant, Prague Security Studies Institute; 2020-2021
  • Wojciech Przybylski, editor-in-chief, Visegrad Insight (PL); 2019-2020
  • Fabian Schmid, journalist (AT); 2020-2021
  • Dr. Anton Shekhovtsov, director, Centre for Democratic Integrity (AT); 2019-2020
  • Veronika Krátka Špalková, analyst, European Values think tank (CZ); 2019-2020
  • Ruslan Stefanov, director, economic program, Centre for the Study of Democracy (BG); 2019-2021
  • Rufin Zamir, programs director, Global Focus (RO); 2019-2021
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