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ZEI Discussion Paper C 231/2015

Karl Magnus Johansson: Europarties – A Research Note

ZEI Discussion Paper C 231/2015

This paper outlines and elaborates the role of Europarties – political parties at European level – in the political system of the European Union (EU). It explores the key role and features of these organisations and claims that they are significant actors, particularly through their mobilisation of political parties and leaders. However, the conditions for Europarty influence are demanding. Europarties can be expected to matter when they are in numerical ascendance, relatively cohesive and able to mobilise their networks of political parties and leaders. These leaders remain first and foremost national politicians, responsible to national electorates. Therefore, Europarty influence and relevance overall remain conditioned on the domestic political context of national parties and leaders. Yet, functional pressures for transnational engagement serve to further institutionalise Europarties.

Karl Magnus Johansson is Professor of Political Science at Södertörn University, South Stockholm.

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