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"Direct elections of the European Parliament and transitional trends in European parties"

Bardi, Luciano. (1997) "Direct elections of the European Parliament and transitional trends in European parties". In: UNSPECIFIED, Seattle, WA. (Unpublished)

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    This paper is an update and completion of a previous article (Bardi, 1996) on parties and the party system in the EU and on the institutional and political factors that affect their development. Its purpose is to extend that study based on an analysis of the EP party system between 1989 and 1994 to the EP's full elected existence (1979-1997). The paper tests hypotheses on the contrasting effects of a) institutional pressures within the European Parliament, and b) EP elections on the transnationalization of European parties and on the evolution of the EU party system. According to findings based on the in-depth analysis carried out in the 1989-1994 study, institutional factors (which are effective during the EP's legislative terms) favor the consolidation of the longer established and larger EP party groups and ultimately of the EU party system. On the contrary, elections can be very disruptive, especially for the more recent and smaller groups, and are a negative factor in party system consolidation. The two combined effects appear to have had contrasting impacts on the number and size of party groups, thus contributing to the creation of a two-speed (or even three-speed) party system in the EU, characterized by an increasingly institutionalized core and by a mutable and unstable periphery. I test more extensively these hypotheses by extending the analysis of party system data to all four elective terms. Effects on the EU party system will be assessed through the calculation of standard party system indices based on electoral outcomes (such as number of effective parties) and by monitoring the evolution of the EP party group system between elections. This will be done by looking at: 1) number of groups; 2) group size; and 3) number of one-party groups. Possible fluctuations in these indicators' values at election time and between elections should be taken as indicative of the effective existence of contrasting pressures for party system consolidation in different phases of the electoral cycle.

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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 > Policies & related activities > political affairs > European elections/voting behavior
    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 > 1997 (5th), May 29-June 1, 1997
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2007
    Page Range: p. 17
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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