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Party Groups and Policy Positions in the European Parliament

Gail McElroy and Kenneth Benoit

  • IIIS Discussion Paper No. 101 Non-technical Abstract

    As the legislative body of the European Union, the European Parliament
    groups 732 elected representatives from over 170 national political parties
    from 25 member states. At the EP level, these members are affiliated with
    seven major party groups representing distinct policy positions. In this paper
    we provide precise estimates of these policy positions based on expert
    surveys in addition to characterizing the dimensionality of policy competition
    in the EP. Our results suggest not only that party groups have identifiable and
    differentiated positions on multiple issues of policy, but also that these
    positions group broadly into two orthogonal dimensions: one consisting of
    classic left-right social and economic issues, and the other related to the
    powers and scope of EU institutions. Key Words: Party Competition, Policy Positions, European Parliament, Expert Surveys.

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).