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Explaining Policy Position Choice of Europarties: The Effect of Legislative Resources


While Europarties have received increasing attention in recent years, little is known about how they arrive at common policy positions, given their strong internal ideological heterogeneity. In order to explain position formation within Europarties, this article argues that national parties compete with each other in an attempt to upload their own policy positions to their Europarty. The article hypothesizes that their ability to succeed in these attempts depends on their legislative resources. The argument is tested by analysing position formation within the four major Europarties for all European Parliament elections between 1979 and 2004. The empirical results confirm that position choice is skewed towards parties with a large seat share, which has important implications for political representation in Europe.

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University of Konstanz (email: and Universitat Pompeu Fabra (email:, respectively. The authors are listed in alphabetical order. Both authors have contributed equally to the article. They thank Hanna Bäck, Thomas Däubler, Lisa Dellmuth, Fabio Franchino, Nathalie Giger, Javier Arregui, Iñaki Sagarzazu, Jae-Jae Spoon and Kristian Skrede Gleditsch as well as the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions. Replication data are available at

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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-political-science
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