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Chapter

Cover Exploring Parliament

2. The Political Organization of Parliament  

Philip Norton

This chapter discusses the political organization of the UK Parliament, at the heart of which are the political parties. It first considers the internal organization of Parliament, focusing on how political parties are structured. There are two principal parties facing one another in Parliament: the party in government and opposition parties. The opposition comprises frontbench Members (shadow ministers) and backbenchers. Smaller parties may also designate some Members as ‘frontbenchers’ (official spokespeople for the party). The frontbench of each party includes whips. The chapter provides an overview of these whips as well as parliamentary parties before considering legislative–executive relations. In particular, it examines how parties shape the relationship between Parliament and the executive, and how these have changed over time.

Chapter

Cover Exploring Parliament

13. Small Parties and Law-making  

Margaret Arnott and Richard Kelly

This chapter discusses the role of smaller parties in the law-making process. General elections in the UK are conducted with an electoral system which militates against the representation of smaller political parties, particularly those having no strong support at the regional level. However, events at Westminster over the last decade have increased the prominence of smaller parties in the operation of parliamentary business. The chapter first considers the role of small parties in the UK Parliament, committees and legislation, as well as their participation in backbench debates before examining how the political and electoral context of Parliament, especially in the twenty-first century, has affected the representation of smaller parties and the ways in which reforms to parliamentary procedure since the 1980s have enhanced the role of the second opposition party. It suggests that Parliament today offers more opportunities for smaller political parties to influence debate and policy, but this remains quite limited.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

10. Bulgaria’s Slow Europeanization  

Petia Gueorguieva

The chapter analyses the Bulgarian experience of Europeanization: its achievements, weaknesses, and patterns of convergence with EU norms and rules. The chapter is structured in four parts. First, it offers a brief historical overview of Bulgarian accession to the EU. Secondly, the impact of EU membership on public opinion and political parties is evaluated. The third part presents the impact of EU membership on Bulgarian political institutions and governance. Finally, a brief comparison is offered with the Romanian experience of Europeanization. The underlying argument is that the process of Europeanization has been a slow one.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

4. ‘France is back’ … in a French Europe  

Olivier Rozenberg

This chapter examines France’s relationship with the European Union by focusing on the heterogeneity of adaptation to the EU. While public policy and legislation became increasingly Europeanized, the EU had a limited impact on political life and the domestic institutional system. This situation changed during the 2010s, as revealed by the 2017 presidential elections and the arrival of President Macron. The chapter considers patterns in France–EU relations before discussing the impact of EU membership on public opinion and political parties. It then looks at the Europeanization of French politics and the impact of EU membership on French institutions as well as public policy. The chapter argues that while domestic politicization is recent, there remains considerable continuity in other aspects of France’s adaptation to the EU.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

5. Germany: A German Europe or a Europeanized Germany?  

Timm Beichelt and Simon Bulmer

This chapter examines Germany’s profile as a European Union member state. It is divided into two parts, looking at EU-Germany relations from both bottom-up and top-down perspectives. The first considers Germany’s increasing influence on the EU, notably during the eurozone and refugee crises. It considers the question of whether Germany has assumed the role of the EU’s hegemon. At the same time the chapter argues that Germany is a very Europeanized member state. It uses the comparative politics paradigm by considering public opinion on Europe, the European dimension of party politics, and the Federal Republic’s major political institutions and their role in European policy. The chapter concludes by reflecting on the two perspectives, seeking a balance between the arguments for a German Europe and a Europeanized Germany.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

8. Sweden: Shedding Exceptionalism in the Face of Europeanization  

Anna Michalski

This chapter examines the adaptations that have occurred in Sweden’s political and administrative system following its admission to the European Union on 1 January 1995. Sweden became a member of the EU on 1 January 1995 after a long period of hesitation. After fifteen years of membership, reticence has given way to a more positive stance, best characterized as pragmatic support. The chapter first considers patterns in Sweden’s membership in the EU before discussing Swedish public opinion towards the EU and the impact of Sweden’s EU membership on the country’s political parties, political institutions, public administration, and sub-national actors such as the civil service. The chapter goes on to explore Sweden’s approach to EU public policy and concludes by comparing its experience with those of other member states, including Austria and Finland.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

11. The United Kingdom: Towards a Parting of the Ways  

Anand Menon and Luigi Scazzieri

This chapter examines the history of the United Kingdom’s relationship with the European integration process. The chapter dissects the long-term trends in public opinion and the more contingent, short-term factors that led to the referendum vote to leave the European Union. The UK was a late joiner and therefore unable to shape the early institutional development of the EEC. British political parties and public opinion were always ambiguous about membership and increasingly Eurosceptic from the early 1990s. Yet the UK had a significant impact on the EU’s development, in the development of the single market programme and eastward enlargement. If Brexit goes through, Britain will nevertheless maintain relations with the EU in all policy areas from agriculture to energy and foreign policy. Europeanization will remain a useful theoretical tool to analyse EU–UK relations even if the UK leaves the Union.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

14. Europeanization, Euroscepticism, and Politicization in Party Politics  

Paul Taggart

The development of European integration has meant that member states have experienced Europeanization and as a consequence the EU has become a more politicized issue in domestic politics. Politicization has come over time and as a consequence of the decline of a permissive consensus and takes some very different forms. The chapter considers the place of the domestic politicization of European integration in theories of European integration and then reviews different periods of the history of European integration, highlighting the growing phenomena of Europeanization and politicization. The chapter then looks at Euroscepticism and its meaning and different forms and identifying which parties can currently be identified as Eurosceptic and what issues Euroscepticism blends with in different member states. The chapter then offers a typology for understanding the different ways in which the politicization of European integration plays out in the party systems of member states.

Chapter

Cover The Member States of the European Union

7. Spain: Pragmatic Europeanism or the End of Unconditional Support for European Integration?  

Ana Mar Fernández Pasarín and Francesc Morata

This chapter examines the different aspects of Spain’s adaptation to the European Union, and more specifically how Europe became a source of benefits and modernization for the country. Spain is the only country among all those which have joined the EU after 1958 whose political parties and citizenry were in full support of acccession. Europeanization has affected most policy areas, particularly economic and social policies in response to EU pressures during the financial crisis. The chapter first considers the pattern of Spain’s relations with the EU before discussing the overall assessment of its EU membership among public opinion and political parties. It then analyses the impact of EU membership on Spain’s political institutions and governance, judicial politics, and policy adaptation in areas such as the Common Agricultural Policy and environmental policy. The chapter concludes by exploring how Spain’s unconditional support for integration has become more conditional since the financial crisis.