Multilevel representation in the European Parliament

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Series Details Volume 15, Number 1, Pages 108-131
Publication Date March 2014
ISSN 1465-1165
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Congruence in the European Parliament has been analyzed in terms of agreement between voters and national candidates/parties. The question whether voters and Europarties are congruent on major dimensions of contestation (left-right and European Union) remains unanswered. Acknowledging the ‘split-level’ structure of preference aggregation in the European Parliament, we theorize the interrelationships between these levels.

Our model incorporates a typically neglected factor: the interplay between national parties and Europarties. We establish that voter–Europarty congruence is different from, and determined by, voter–national party congruence; moreover, national party–Europarty congruence moderates this relationship. Our findings shed new light on the quality of representation in the European Parliament and have key implications for understanding transnational democracy in the European Union.

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