TEPSA Report “The 2014 EP Election Campaign in the Member States: National Debates, European Elections” by Mirte van den Berge

tepsa“This time it will be different” was the slogan of the information campaign for the 2014 European Parliament elections of the European Parliament (EP) itself. While the EP has been directly elected since 1979, its elections are traditionally regarded as second-order elections. The 2014 elections were expected to challenge this fact, marking a shift in the (perceived) importance of the European Union as a whole and the European Parliament in particular. The framework of TEPSA, as a network of 33 think tanks and research institutes focused on EU integration in the EU member states, provides an excellent opportunity to analyse information on the EP election campaign in the member states. The report focuses on the nature of the electoral campaign; the topics discussed; the relevance of any alliance to party groups in the European Parliament in the national debates; and the role the European “Spitzenkandidaten” (the candidates nominated by the pan-European political parties for the post of Commission President) played in the election campaigns in the member states. This paper can be considered an early attempt to explore whether or not the 2014 election campaigns have been substantially ‘different’ compared to before. Read more.