This study explores political parties’ salience and position on foreign policy issues in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland and Spain across time. By analysing the main parties’ electoral manifestos from 2000 to 2020, the study points out how foreign policy and related area, such as internationalism and military issues, have been only marginally addressed in parties’ discourse. EU foreign and security policy remains a low salient issue for all parties in the countries under examination. Still, our analyses highlight a situation of low political salience but high “permissive consensus” on EU foreign and security policy among the public and bipartisan support among the elites. On this point, the extent to which these conditions can be exploited to move further down the path to increased European integration in this policy area seems to depend on whether and how this issue might become politicised.
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