Towards Policy-Seeking Europarties? The Development of European Political Foundations
Title: Towards Policy-Seeking Europarties? The Development of European Political Foundations
Series/Report no.: EUI RSCAS; 2011/58; EUDO - European Union Democracy Observatory
External link: http://www.eudo.eu/
Political parties at the European level – Europarties – do not only seek to be represented in the institutions of the EU (office-seeking) and to strengthen their role in the European Parliament elections (vote-seeking). Also, they try to colour the politics and policies of the Union, through the dissemination of ideas and the promotion of values linked to their political ideologies. In contrast to political groups in the European Parliament, until recently, Europarties were lacking resources enabling them to follow closely the substance of the EU policy process. However, the recent creation and funding of European political foundations affiliated to Europarties has been seen as a chance to provide them with the tools to become more policy-oriented. Currently, no less than eleven European political foundations are active in Brussels and beyond, and the total EU grant available to them for 2011 amounts to more than 11 million EURO. This paper investigates, for the first time, these European political foundations. It does so empirically and comparatively, based on the study of primary resources and a number of semistructured interviews, alongside existing research. The topic is addressed through a focus on the establishment of European political foundations, their organisation and their ‘transnational’ character (as networks of national political foundations). The central questions are: What are the key features of European political foundations? What purposes do they serve? And how should their relationship with Europarties be understood? Answers to these questions will shed light on one of the most recent innovations in the development of Europarties, and thus contribute to a new research agenda on EU party politics.
Subject: Political parties; European Union; political foundations
This paper has been presented during the workshop ‘Where now for Europarties? Reflections post-Lisbon’ (20-21 June 2011, Maastricht University) and during the 6th ECPR General Conference in Reykjavik (25-27 August 2011, University of Iceland).
Type of Access: openAccess