#BREXIT50: EUROPE’S INFLUENCERS RANKED BY EURACTIV

Date

30 Nov 2016

Sections

EU Priorities 2020
Global Europe
UK in Europe

Press release

[ENGLISH - 30 November 2016] A ranking of the top 50 people with individual and institutional influence on the Brexit process/negotiations was unveiled in London earlier tonight.

Once the UK government triggers ‘Article 50’ of the Treaty on European Union, formal negotiations will begin on how the country will leave the EU. This unprecedented political divorce will be hugely important to the futures of both sides of the split.

Daniela Vincenti, editor-in-chief of EurActiv.com, the leading online media on EU policies, said: “Our Brexit50 ranking gives you a glance at the movers and shakers that will play a key role in this process in the months and years ahead. The political situation is so dynamic it will be interesting to see how the personalities shift in the weeks and months ahead.”

Click here for more information on today's event or check the conversation on Twitter under #Brexit50. 

Breaking it down, the #Brexit50 ranking reveals that:

  • #Brexit is a truly European/global affair, with 22 British, 25 other EU and 3 non-European (Trump, Carney and Murdoch) influencers; Germans lead the continent on Brexit influencers (9), followed at a distance by France (4) and Italy, Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands (each with 2 influencers).
  • Politicians (27) & Officials (14) dominate the ranking, that is 41/50 or 82% of the overall ranking; there are 8 Heads of State or Government and another 13 MEPs and/or EU officials in the list.
  • Women lead the ranking, but the influencers are (still) predominantly men (78%)

o    Top 3 Brexit influencers are all women: May, Merkel and Sturgeon

o    May and Merkel emerged joint-top of the ranking and share #1 place

o    Sturgeon follows closely at #3, highlighting the big leverage the Scotland’s First Minister wields through the overwhelming Remain outcome in the Brexit referendum in Scotland, and her position that she is prepared to stage a second referendum on Scottish independence.

  • Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator for the European Commission taskforce on Brexit negotiations, is ranked #4, and is seen as thetoughest’ official in the ranking. He comes ahead of both Donald Tusk (#5) and Jean-Claude Juncker (#9), the heads of the European Council and the European Commission, respectively.
  • David Davis, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, is (overall) not perceived as being so influential and comes in (only) at #8, just ahead of Jean-Claude Juncker (#9) and after Philip Hammond (#7).
  • Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and the lead rapporteur on Brexit for the European Parliament, is ranked at #10; this may be perceived as controversial to some, but it underlines the influence the European Parliament may have in vetoing the overall Brexit deal very late in its approval process.
  • Enda Kenny, the Irish Taoiseach, is ranked #12 as he will play a key role in the renewed debate on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
  • The Brexit50 ranking is dynamic: it includes people who were almost unknown until recently: i.e. Gina Miller (#44), who led the high profile legal challenge to Article 50; and one person ranked in it Martin Schulz (#33) has recently announced that he will step down as President of the European Parliament in Jan. 2017 in order to run in the German elections.

o    Other potential ‘Lame Ducks’ in the ranking? Hollande (#6) and Renzi (#27), as their prominent roles in the Brexit debate may fade away in the months ahead.

o    Other potential ‘Risers’ in the ranking? Marine Le Pen (#38) and Mark Carney (#40) may grow more influential as they get more time on the centre stage in 2017, i.e. if Le Pen were to win the French elections on 23 April 2017, or if Carney pushes more openly for a (prolonged) Brexit transition process.

  • Nigel Farage’s rumoured departure for the US is unlikely to see him go quiet on the subject of a ‘Hard Brexit and keeps him on a #22 place. Paul Dacre (#25) and Rupert Murdoch (#35) make it into the list for their perceived influence on the UK government in favour of Brexit.

>> Please also check EurActiv.com for more analysis and updates :
Women top EurActiv’s ‘Power List’ of Top 50 Brexit influencers – in French – in German 

NOTE TO EDITORS

  • About Brexit50 : Check out the full Twitter conversation on #BREXIT50. The Brexit50 ranking was decided by a panel of UK-EU affairs specialists, with EurActiv readers having been invited to suggest names. The Brexit50 ranking can be downloaded here: PDF brochure. The ranking is also available online - and will be updated as part of EurActory.eu, an innovative directory of influencers and experts with detailed rankings on several EU policy areas, on  www.euractory.eu/r/BREXIT50. Today's event “From Article 50 to Brexit - the UK and European context” was organised by EurActiv, kindly hosted in the offices of the European Commission representation in the UK (Europe House), and received some support from InterelUK.
  • About EurActiv : EurActiv, the European Media Network present in 12 EU capitals, publishes free EU news and facilitates EU policy debates for policy professionals in 12 languages. With 2,3 million page views and 794,992 ‘unique visitors’ per month, EurActiv is the leading online media on EU policies. EurActiv expanded its Brand Footprint to 1.4 million readers in 2015. We address 80% of our readers in their own language.

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