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The European Parliament in the Enlarged EU: Explaining Group Membership in the European Parliament

Maurer, Andreas, and Parkes, Roderick and Wagner, Markus. (2007) The European Parliament in the Enlarged EU: Explaining Group Membership in the European Parliament. In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    This paper examines the decisions behind group membership in the European Parliament. Following the goals ascribed to them by Strom in other settings (1990), national parties should join the largest group that matches their socioeconomic preferences. Yet, whilst explanations taking national parties as the basic unit of analysis might sometimes suffice, we argue that it is often necessary to consider the influence of individual party members and existing EP groups. The pursuit of individual and collective interests by all these actors determines the attractiveness of the various options open to a party weighing up its group affliation in the European Parliament. After developing a conceptual framework to explain the dynamics behind membership decisions, we illustrate it by reference to the attempt by the British Conservative Party to leave the European People's Party-European Democrats (EPP-ED) group, an effort ending in the formation with the Czech Civic Democrats (ODS) of an extraparliamentary federation, the Movement for European Reform.

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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 > political parties
    Countries > U.K.
    Countries > Czech Republic
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 14
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51

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