Party Politics, National Interests and Governmentâ€”Opposition Dynamics
This article analyses the cleavages that structured the debates within the Convention on the Future of Europe. Taking the positions on the institutional rules governing EU social policy as an empirical example, it addresses the question of whether these positions were determined by party politics or by national interests. The article also examines how the delegatesâ€™ different institutional backgrounds affected their positions. A statistical analysis of a new data set on the positions of conventionists towards EU social policy expansion shows that, overall, delegatesâ€™ positions were determined by a mixture of party politics and national interests. At the same time, there are institutional effects separating representatives of government parties, who tended to stress national interests, from actors representing opposition parties, who acted more according to a party political logic.
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