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"Coalition Formation in the European Parliament: From Dogmatism to Pragmatism"

Kreppel, Amie. (1999) "Coalition Formation in the European Parliament: From Dogmatism to Pragmatism". In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)

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    The supranational party groups in the European Parliament (EP) have often been dismissed as politically insignificant despite their high levels of voting cohesion and well-defined internal organizational structures. Most often the cause of this perceived unimportance is the frequent recourse of the two largest party groups, the People's Party of Europe (PPE) and the Socialist Party (PSE), to form bipartisan coalitions. Unfortunately most discussions of coalition formation in the EP have been based on anecdotal evidence or a limited selection of roll-call votes from the past few years (generally under only the cooperation and/or co-decision procedures). The limited nature of these analyses restricts their conclusions and, therefore, our understanding of the importance of party group identity to and ideology within the EP. In this paper I examine 300 roll-call votes occurring between 1980-1996, with 100 votes occurring on resolutions, 100 under the cooperation procedure and 100 under the co-decision procedure. Through this broader analysis I demonstrate that the current trend of bipartisanship is new, and has occurred only as the EP has established itself as a potentially effective legislative body. More specifically, I argue that the character of coalitions within the EP has evolved as a reaction to the transformation of the EP from chamber of debate into a legislative body. Furthermore, I demonstrate the extent to which ideology does still play a role in the EP during the first round of the legislative process when the focus of the struggle is within the EP. It is, I argue, only during the second (or the only round for resolutions) when the groups within the EP must unite to fight a common foe (the Council) that you find a high level of bipartisan cooperation between the PPE and the PSE.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Parliament
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > political parties
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1999 (6th), June 2-5, 1999
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2006
    Page Range: p. 38
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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