Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Divided Government European Style? Electoral and Mechanical Causes of European Parliament and Council Divisions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Manow, Philip
  • Döring, Holger
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Voters who participate in elections to the European Parliament tend to use these elections to punish their domestic governing parties. Many students of the EU therefore claim that the party-political composition of the Parliament should systematically differ from that of the Council. This study, which compares empirically the party-political centers of gravity of these two central political actors, shows that opposed majorities between Council and Parliament may have other than simply electoral causes. The logic of domestic government formation works against the representation of politically more extreme parties, and hence against more EU-skeptic parties in the Council. At the same time, voters in EP elections vote more often for these more extreme and more EU-skeptic parties. The different locations of Council and Parliament in the pro-/contra-EU dimension may thus be caused by two – possibly interrelated – effects: a mechanical effect, due to the translation of votes into seats and then into 'office', and thus also into Council representation, and an electoral effect in elections to the European Parliament. The paper discusses the implications of this finding for our understanding of the political system of the EU and of its democratic legitimacy. -- Regelmäßig scheinen Wähler Europawahlen dazu zu nutzen, ihre jeweilige nationale Regierung elektoral zu bestrafen. Viele Beobachter der Wahlen zum Europäischen Parlament gehen daher davon aus, dass die parteipolitische Ausrichtung des Parlaments systematisch von der des Ministerrats abweicht. Die vorliegende Analyse, die die parteipolitische Zusammensetzung dieser beiden zentralen europapolitischen Akteure empirisch vergleicht, zeigt, dass neben den elektoralen Ursachen auch andere Gründe für gegenläufige Mehrheiten zwischen Parlament und Rat verantwortlich sein können. Die Logik der Regierungsbildung auf nationalstaatlicher Ebene führt dazu, dass "zentristische" und damit eher europafreundliche Parteien überproportional stark im Rat vertreten sind. In Europawahlen hingegen geben Wähler häufig extremer positionierten, das heißt auch europaskeptischeren Parteien ihre Stimme. Die politische Distanz zwischen Rat und Parlament resultiert in der Pro/contra-EU-Dimension daher aus dem Zusammenwirken zweier, möglicherweise miteinander verbundener Effekte: elektoralen und "mechanischen" Gründen für divided government in Europa. Das Papier diskutiert die Implikationen dieses Befundes für unser Verständnis von der Funktionsweise der EU und ihrer demokratischen Legitimation.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/19936/1/dp06-8.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in its series MPIfG Discussion Paper with number 06/8.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:p0074

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: Paulstr. 3, 50676 Köln
    Phone: + 49 (0) 221-2767-0
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.mpifg.de/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Abdul Ghafar Noury & Simon Hix & Gérard Roland, 2005. "Power to parties: cohesion and competition in the European Parliament 1979-2001," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7752, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:mpifgd:p0074. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - German National Library of Economics).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.