THE MEPS OF THE EPP AND THE EUROPEAN PILLAR OF SOCIAL RIGHTS - Voting to serve Europe, the nation or themselves?
The initiative of the European pillar of social rights was supposed to bring the European Union one step closer towards a more social Europe and the European Parliament (EP) approved the final resolution in January 2017. However, the result of this resolution revealed some interesting voting behavior of the European people’s party (EPP). This thesis will examine how the decisions made by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) can be understood based on the self-interest of the politician and what trade-off they make when operating under the influence of both their national party and their party group in the EP. The thesis treats the MEP that represented Sweden — voting against the EPSR and Ireland — voting for the EPSR during the EP debate and the arguments they gave for the position they took on the EPSR. The arguments will be used as indicative of the MEPs motivations with use of the decision-making theory and agency dilemma as theoretical framework. This qualitative research offers empirical information on the decisions of the individual MEPs.