The Baltic Region

2016 Issue №2

Supranational party system of the EU


The article confirms the hypothesis that a multiplicity of parties of the European and national levels forms the party system of the European Union (EU). The authors describe the main characteristics of Europarties and political groups comprised of them as key actors in the European Parliament’s (EP) political and legislative processes. The authors adopt the institutional approach and make use of the tools of the comparative, structural, and functional analyses. Special attention is paid to the ‘two-tier’ structure — the connection between national and supranational institutions — as a key feature of the European Union’s party system. The study is based on the European Parliament framework laws, election results, Europarties’ political programmes, as well as on the comparison of the composition of the Europarties and EU bodies. The analysis provides a new perspective on the major processes and contradictions in the functioning of the European Parliament and demonstrates that the transformation of the EU from an intergovernmental association to a (con)federation has not completed yet.

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