Values topple nationality in the European Parliament
09 September 2015
The political parties from across the European continent have formed transnational political families, based on their values. The ‘internationalisation’ of political parties started in the late nineteenth century, but it was brought to a completely new level once the European Parliament (EP) came into existence, as the parties then had the chance to compare their views and negotiate their positions on the same policy dilemmas at the same time.
From the beginning, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have formed parliamentary groups not according to their nationality, but according to their ideology—just as in national parliaments parliamentary groups are formed by the members who share similar policy orientations in order to better coordinate, share resources and exert influence on policy.
This article analyses the voting behaviour of these pan-European parliamentary groups, whose cohesion and internal splits are used as indicators of the actual symmetries and divisions between national parties belonging to the same political orientation.
How cohesive are the European parliamentary groups in the new term?
The pan-European parties have long been considered mere consultative bodies, rather than decision-making ones. Power has always remained in the hands of the national party chiefs and the heads of state. Traditionally, the leading political figures within the EU institutions, whether commissioners or MEPs, have been seen as following instructions from their party bosses back home.
But the aftermath of the 2014 European elections may indicate a change of direction. Since the Lisbon Treaty, the EP has become bolder, not only when negotiating legislation, but also when appointing the EU’s chief executives. MEPs have been able not only to create a united front among themselves but also to rally support among their colleagues at national level using the structures of the European parties. Ultimately, they submit their candidate for the presidency of the European Commission.
Read for FREE the full article published in the June 2015 issue of the European View, the Martens Centre policy journal.
NATO and the EU are complementary, but the Union must have a common defence
In the Media - Interviews and Expert Quotes
22 Nov 2023
A Reflection on the Politics of Yom Kippur
25 Sep 2023
A Forward-Looking State of the Union Speech Outines the EU’s Future
14 Sep 2023
Migration Update May 2023
31 May 2023
Migration Update April 2023
30 Apr 2023
Why Ukraine Belongs in Europe
27 Feb 2023
E-Health and Data Science in Medicine with Johnson and Johnson’s Xiaoying Wu and Angel Martin
Brussels Bytes - Multimedia
11 Jan 2023
Interview with EP Secretary General Klaus Welle at EIF22
Live-streams - Multimedia
06 Jan 2023
Bridge the Channel – December 2022
Bridge the Channel - Multimedia
20 Dec 2022
Women in Foreign Policy
Her and EU - Multimedia
15 Dec 2022