Democracy models and parties at the EU level: Empirical evidence from the adoption of the 2009 European election manifestoes

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Series Details No.13, August 2010
Publication Date 2010
ISSN 1504-6907
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This paper builds upon the theoretical premises developed by Erik O. Eriksen and John Erik Fossum and empirically examines if democracy at the EU level is closer to the ideal-type of delegated, federal or regional-cosmopolitan democracy. We focus on a particular dimension of parliamentary representation, namely, party politics at the European level, and we concentrate on the 2009 European election party manifestoes. We hypothesise that under the delegated democracy model there should hardly be any similarities between the Euro-party and their member party manifestoes. The opposite should hold for the federal model, whereas in the case of the regional-cosmopolitan model the manifestoes should have a post-national outlook. Even though most manifestoes have a discernible European outlook and the national and Euro-party manifestoes share a number of common features, the differences remain more than the similarities. Our empirical findings suggest that the PES, the EPP and the EGP cannot be placed under the same EU democracy model.

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