Understanding the Index
Our unique methodology combines data-driven insight with empirical analysis to shed light on who holds influence in Europe’s parliaments.
Europe’s elected politicians have influence. From impacting legislation to steering public conversations, their actions and decisions impact many aspects of citizen’s lives in profound ways. As influence comes in different shapes and forms, bringing an objective approach to measuring it can be challenging.
BCW Influence Index uses a unique data-based methodology to measure who in Europe’s parliaments wields the most influence, within and beyond parliamentary walls.
How do we measure politicians’ influence?
We measure influence through two largely independent dimensions: parliamentary influence and public influence. A broad range of data points based on a defined set of metrics is collected to reflect a multitude of influence indicators.
The BCW Influence Index does not make a judgement or normative assumption regarding the concept of “influence”. When using this term, we refer to a politician’s capacity to make a political impact, whether that be through shaping legislative outcomes or steering public conversations.
Parliamentary Influence Score
The ability to impact legislation, shape the political agenda, win votes and gain positions of power.
Public Influence Score
The ability to cultivate visibility with European citizens, reach audiences online and in the media and shape public conversations.
Positions of influence with regards to group coordination and the parliamentary bureau.
General activity and collaboration including networking roles outside plenary meetings.
The ability to shape a specific piece of legislation, down to detailed levels.
Seniority in years served in parliament, including formal positions held in previous terms.
The reach, relevance and resonance of the politician's activity on X (formerly Twitter).
The volume of mentions of the politician in mainstream European media.
The extent to which politicians are searched for on Google.
A statistical procedure called principal component analysis (PCA) is applied to combine these indicators into a single score for parliamentary influence and a single score for public influence.
Reducing complexity while retaining a maximum amount of information, PCA is widely used in the creation of indices and considered to be an objective, data-driven approach to calculating influence scores.
The results of the PCA-based aggregation for the parliamentary influence scores have been independently validated by BCW policy experts, and both data-driven and domain knowledge based approaches yielded nearly identical results.
Our methodology in numbers