A vote for the President? The role of Spitzenkandidaten in the 2014 European Parliament elections

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Series Details Vol.21, No.10, December 2014, p1528-1540
Publication Date December 2014
ISSN 1350-1763
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The European Parliament promised voters that the 2014 elections would be different. According to its interpretation of the Lisbon Treaty, a vote in these European elections would also be a vote for the President of the Europe's executive, the Commission. To reinforce this link between the European elections and the Commission President, the major political groups each nominated a lead candidate, Spitzenkandidat, for the post. This article examines how this innovation affected the 2014 elections. It concludes that the presidential candidates did not play a major role in the election campaigns, except in a handful of countries, and thus had a limited impact on voter participation and vote choices. However, the European Parliament was very successful in imposing its interpretation of the new modified procedure for electing the Commission President, not shared by all national governments, and this will have important implications for the inter-institutional dynamics in the Union and the future of European democracy.

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Record URL https://www.europeansources.info/record/?p=481050