Political Parties in the EU: What’s Next?

Written by Edoardo Bressanelli   
Political Parties at the European level (Europarties) have traditionally been regarded as weak actors in the EU political system. Yet, this assessment fails to correctly describe the role that the Europarties play in different arenas. The parliamentary parties are responsible to organize the workings of the European Parliament (EP) and have developed strong organizational structures over time. In contrast, the Europarties remain weak in the electoral arena, and in performing a linkage function connecting the EU citizens and institutions. Thus, this article presents the ‘state of the art’ on Europarties and discusses a number of reforms which could strengthen the role of the extra-parliamentary parties as ‘representative’ actors. It argues that the role that the Europarties play in the Union today would have been unimaginable only a decade ago. Yet, the average European citizen is still hardly aware of their existence. Some reforms or political actions – such as recognizing individual membership, or sponsoring Citizens’ Initiatives – could strengthen their visibility and enhance their status in-between the rounds of EP elections.
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Published on Saturday, 31 January 2015 08:51
Last Updated ( Saturday, 31 January 2015 10:53 )
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