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SPP 482

Author: Richard Rose and Gabriela Borz
Description: To what extent does the unco-ordinated aggregation of national party programmes in EP Party Groups create cohesion or tension in national parties due to their competing commitments to national voters and their EP Party Group? And to what extent does the further aggregation of Party Groups to secure majority endorsement of policies create incongruence between their national programmes and Party Group positions? Our model of the aggregation of policies shows the potential for tension and incongruence in the "re-presentation" of national programmes in the multiple stages of the EU policy process. Factor Analysis of the EU Profiler data base identifies five policy dimensions discriminating national party programmes: European integration, permissiveness, social welfare, the environment and opposition to immigration. Institutional, ideological and pragmatic hypotheses are proposed as possible causes of cohesion or tension within Party Groups. Within each Party Group, we find ideology rather most influential in creating cohesion. However, institutional and pragmatic incentives for Groups to aggregate their positions to create an EP majority vote encourages tension within Party Groups and inter-Group cohesion can create incongruence with views endorsed by national electorates.

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland