Inside the Europarty

Research at the junction of party politics and European integration

Article appearing in Journal of European Integration 28

Journal of European Integration

Even though the body of academic literature on political parties at the European level – so-called Europarties – has been steadily growing over time, they still remain a niche topic in both research on party politics and on European integration (Kaeding and Switek 2016). In addition, analyses are quite often biased by normative perceptions about the role Europarties could or should play in the democratisation of the European Union. Owing to the seminal change of introducing frontrunners representing specific European parties (Spitzenkandidaten) in the European elections 2014 (Put et al. 2016) and the subsequent appointment of EPP-frontrunner Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president, this is bound to change. On the one hand, their part in preparation for the elections of 2019, i.e. choosing the Spitzenkandidaten and drafting common manifestos, will now most certainly attract great scholarly interest. On the other hand, by bringing in established theories, approaches and frameworks of intraparty democracy research from the realm of national politics, the perspectives on rules and procedures of these peculiar ‘parties of parties’ will in some respect become more empirical and explorative.