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(p. 357) 15. European parties: A powerful caucus in the European Parliament and beyond 

(p. 357) 15. European parties: A powerful caucus in the European Parliament and beyond
Chapter:
(p. 357) 15. European parties: A powerful caucus in the European Parliament and beyond
Author(s):

Tapio Raunio

DOI:
10.1093/hepl/9780198737414.003.0015
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date: 06 August 2020

This chapter examines the party system of the European Parliament (EP). In the early 1950s, members of the EP decided to form party-political groups instead of national blocs to counterbalance the dominance of national interests in the European Council. Since then, the party groups have gradually, but consistently, consolidated their positions in the EP. The chapter first considers the shape of the EP party system, the structure of the party groups, and the role of national parties within them. It then looks at the Spitzenkandidaten (lead candidates) initiative, whereby the Europarties put forward their own candidates for the Commission President in the 2014 elections. It also discusses coalition politics and parliamentary committees as well as electoral accountability in the EP and concludes with an overview of the state of research on the EP party system, emphasizing the need to understand how coalitions are formed in the committees and the plenary.

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