More Unity than Diversity – The European Parliament after the elections
Some of the recently published by EPIN members: CEPS (Brussels): More Unity than Diversity – The European Parliament after the elections by Piotr Maciej Kaczyński.
Piotr Maciej Kaczyński is a Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies.
The 2009 European elections present European decision-makers with two main messages.
First, the turnout was the lowest in the history of the EU. Forty-three percent does not wholly undermine the legitimacy of the European project, but it sounds an alarm bell that action needs to be taken to reverse the 30-year trend. More importantly, the party balance has shifted radically towards the conservative parties. This result may, and probably should impact the way the Parliament takes decisions, especially since the geographical distribution of the election results was more unified than ever before in the history of Europe.
The elections have proven once again that there are very few trans-European political actors and none of them that run for election is successful. Libertas.eu, Newsropeans and the other formations that tried to campaign on pan-European platforms all failed this time, like their predecessors failed before them. None of the large political families, such as the European People’s Party, the Party of European Socialists, or the European Liberals grouped within the ELDR/ALDE tried to capture public attention. Elections remain confined to national contexts and are won and lost by national political actors. This, however, does not prevent the general public from sending out a unified message to European leaders, however they are organised.
This is what happened in the 2009 European elections.
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CEPS Policy Briefs present concise, policy-oriented analyses of topical issues in European affairs, with the aim of interjecting the views of CEPS’ researchers and associates into the policy-making process in a timely fashion. Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed are attributable only to the authors in a personal capacity and not to any institution with which they are associated.
EPIN Working Papers present analyses of key issues raised by the debate on the political integration of Europe. The European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN) is a network of think tanks and policy institutes based throughout Europe, which focuses on current EU political and policy debates (see back cover for more information). Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed are attributable only to the authors in a personal capacity and not to any institutions with which they are associated.