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The EU Party System after Eastern Enlargement. IHS Political Science Series: 2006, No. 105

Schmitt, Hermann and Thomassen, Jacques. (2005) The EU Party System after Eastern Enlargement. IHS Political Science Series: 2006, No. 105. [Working Paper]

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    From 1953 on, a party system of the European Union has been build up with, at the end, some 6 or 7 distinct and more or less cohesive parties acting in parliament and beyond. It has been said that this party system was “ready for power” during the 5th legislature of the directly elected European Parliament. In this article we ask whether and how Eastern enlargement has changed this state of affairs. The result of the empirical analysis is remarkably ambivalent: first, Eastern enlargement has increased the proportion of “homeless” MEPs, i.e. the non-aligned, and has at the same time added to the strength of the conservative majority of the house. Second, it did not significantly affect the format of the party system nor the stature of its political groups, neither their distinctiveness nor their cohesiveness. And third, the parties from the new Eastern member countries are not yet very well “rooted” in their national electorates. This is why the diagnosis of this early examination has to remain somewhat inconclusive – probably for some years to come.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Uncontrolled Keywords: EU-party system; party competition; party cleavages; ideology.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Treaty reform > enlargement
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > political parties
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > institutional development/policy > historical development of EC (pre-1986)
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Institute for Advanced Studies (Vienna), Department of Political Science > IHS Political Science Series
    Depositing User: Elisabet Torggler
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2006
    Page Range: p. 25
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:44

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