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After the EU Elections, Before the Constitution Referenda, Can the EU Communicate Better? CEPS Policy Briefs No. 55, 1 July 2004

Kurpas, Sebastian and Meyer, Christoph and Gialoglou, Kyriakos (2004) After the EU Elections, Before the Constitution Referenda, Can the EU Communicate Better? CEPS Policy Briefs No. 55, 1 July 2004. [Policy Paper]

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    Abstract

    [From the Introduction]. The European Union suffers from not only a democratic but also a communication deficit. In the same way as both problems are intertwined, so are the symptoms. The last elections to the European Parliament suffered from a record low turnout and the election campaigns were run mainly on themes relating to domestic politics, resembling small plebiscites on the government’s performance at the national level (Kurpas et al., 2004). Only Eurosceptic parties made strong gains, advocating the withdrawal of their countries or strong downgrading of the EU’s competences. These results highlighted two painful realities. First, they re-confirmed the trend since the first EP elections in 1979 that citizens increasingly see less reason to vote in elections that do not give them ‘a real choice’ such as voting for the Commission president or to express their socio-economic preferences by voting for a party that can deliver on these preferences if it comes to power. Second, voter apathy indicates that the importance of decisions at the Community level, along with the role of the European Parliament and its impact on national policy, is not yet established among citizens. Some of the reasons for this failure are structural, such as the lack of a strong European identity; some are legal or institutional and thus hard to change. For instance, as long as the parties represented in European Parliament do not emancipate themselves from their national counterparts and manage to run an election campaign with candidates for the Commission presidency, campaign dynamics and other turn-out are not likely to change.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > Constitution for Europe
    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: UNSPECIFIED
    ["eprint_fieldname_eusries" not defined]: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Policy Briefs
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2007
    Page Range: p. 8
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:43
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/6578

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