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Understanding the formation and actions of Eurosceptic groups in the European Parliament: pragmatism, principles and publicity

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journal contribution
posted on 21.10.2013, 11:14 by Richard C. Whitaker, Philip Lynch
This article assesses why Eurosceptic national parties form groups in the European Parliament (EP) and examines in what ways two of these groups – the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) – operate in the EP. It draws on interviews with politicians and group officials, roll-call votes and expert judgement data. We look at the group formation process with a focus on the British Conservatives and UK Independence Party (UKIP) and find that the ECR was created with a mixture of policy-seeking and party management aims. UKIP’s interest in the EFD is largely on the basis of distinctive practical advantages, such as resources for political campaigns. We provide evidence that hard Eurosceptic and regionalist niche parties in the EP struggle to agree with each other in roll-call votes on a range of subjects. Finally, we show that the hard and soft Eurosceptic parties studied here go about policy-seeking in different ways in the EP in line with their differing principles about the integration process.

History

Citation

Government and Opposition, in press

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCE/Department of Politics and International Relations

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Government and Opposition

Publisher

Cambridge University Press on behalf of Government and Opposition

issn

0017-257X

eissn

1477-7053

Copyright date

2013

Available date

21/10/2013

Publisher version

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=GOV

Notes

This article has been accepted for publication and will appear in a revised form, subsequent to peer review and/or editorial input by Cambridge University Press, in Government and Opposition (Copyright © Government and Opposition Ltd 2013), published by Cambridge University Press.

Language

en