The 15 member states of the European Union have the world's most mature party system as well as the most variegated. At the beginning of the year 2000, over 140 political parties held seats in the 15 national parliaments. This volume sets out factual reference information on these formations current to end-1999, encompassing contact data, including email and website addresses, leadership details, policy orientation, history, current political and electoral status and affiliations to international and European party organisations.
The parties are presented in alphabetical order of their names in English, accompanied by own-language titles where appropriate. Those represented in national legislatures and/or the European Parliament are covered in main entries, which are followed by country sections dealing with regional and minor parties. The countries covered are: Austria; Belgium; Denmark; Danish dependencies; Finland; France; French overseas possessions; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Italy; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Portugal; Spain; Sweden; United Kingdom; UK: Northern Ireland. Each country section begins with an introduction describing the prevailing constitutional situation, focusing on parliamentary structures and electoral procedures. A comparative table showing the results of the two most recent general elections is included. Also presented in the country introductions are details of the availability of state financial assistance to political parties and of the sums disbursed under such arrangements.
The country sections are followed by an appendix giving full listings of the composition of the party groups in the European Parliament resulting from the elections held throughout the EU in June 1999, when a total of some 120 parties obtained representation.
This new reference tool will prove an essential handbook to anyone needing to research the political parties of the EU member states.
The editor, Alan J Day, has edited or contributed to many political reference titles, including successive editions of Political Parties of the World. He has been the editor of The Annual Register since 1988.