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Parties and the European Union

In: Social Issues

Submitted By kenzieannc
Words 1426
Pages 6
MacKenzie Conran
Professor Robert Rohrschneider
EURS 669
15 March 2012
European Party Members Real Agenda With 27 member states, 23 official languages and 735 Members of European Parliament (MEPs), it is difficult to comprehend cohesion within the European Union, but that is exactly what Gail McElroy and Kenneth Benoit discuss in their article “Policy Positioning in the European Parliament” (2012). The scope of political groups in addition to political parties within the European Parliament is constantly changing. With each new election national parties switch affiliation and new national parties are formed. These national parties range on the entire left-right spectrum and each party is distinguishable from one another (McElroy and Beniot).
What distinguishes these national parties and how they are formed is somewhat of a trick question, so having experts to look to for input is necessary. Expert survey methodologies were used by the authors to conduct research, giving it more credibility due to the general publics’ lack of knowledge of EP party groups let alone party placement. In European election surveys, party placement questions are not even asked. Also, the response rate of experts for the prior article’s survey was 45 percent, and increase of seven percent from 2007 (McElroy and Benoit).
With national parties evolving, changing and disappearing altogether, choosing a party new group is not uncommon for national parties. The way party groups are chosen is largely prompted by an effort to eliminate incongruous policy between national and transnational levels and to create one that is more harmonious (McElroy and Benoit). The authors say that theoretically, this should lead to strong similarities between national parties and EP party groups. One party group that does not follow this pattern is the Alliance for Liberals and Democrats for...

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