European Parliament elections of May 2014: Driven by national politics or EU policy making?

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Abstract

The 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections took place in a very particular environment. Economic crisis, bailout packages, and austerity measures were central on the agenda in many Southern countries while open borders and intra-EU migration gained high salience elsewhere in the Union. A strong decline of political trust in European and national institutions was alarming. At the same time, the nomination and campaigning of “<em>Spitzenkandidaten</em>”, lead candidates of EP political groups for European Commission (EC) presidency, was meant to establish a new linkage between European Parliament elections and the (s)election of the president of the Commission. All of this might have changed the very nature of EP elections as second-order national elections. In this paper, we try to shed light on this by analysing aggregate election results, both at the country-level and at the party-level and compare them with the results of the preceding first-order national election in each EU member country. Our results suggest that the ongoing politicisation of EU politics had little impact on the second-order nature of European Parliament elections.

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Schmitt, H., & Toygür, İ. (2016). European Parliament elections of May 2014: Driven by national politics or EU policy making? Politics and Governance, 4(1), 167–181. https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v4i1.464

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