Research: Voter-Elite Linkage in EU Decision-making - Hoofdinhoud
The Montesquieu Institute is facilitating a research project by Lucie Spanihelova on Voter-Elite Linkage in EU decision-making.
EU directives represent one of many policy instruments used by the EU Commission, the European Parliament or the Council to generate EU-wide rules that member states incorporate into their own national legal frameworks.
With ever increasing policy discretion of the EU in place of the capacities of national governments, directives have been increasingly making a visible imprint on citizens’ every-day life.
The growing impact of EU-level policy-making is contrasted with changes in public support for the EU that has taken a downward turn since the early 1990s. Such a change, the arguments suggest, indicates that voters are increasingly more skeptical about whether the EU has consistently acted in their interests and signals heightened public tension regarding EU’s role in the future. Such contrast between public sentiments and increasing policy relevance of the EU begs a pressing question about whether the generally decreasing support of voters for the EU is reflected in the manner “business” is done in the EU.
The main goal at the moment is to empirically explore if and how membership in the EU allows the party elites to circumvent some of the fundamental features of democratic representation. Much of this research therefore looks at the representation of the public by national parties in EU-related areas during the elections and in policy, but also on strategies that national political elites utilize in electoral campaigns and in policy-making that would not be possible had they not been members of the EU.
Lucie Spanihelova is a researcher at the Montesquieu Institute. She received her PhD from Binghamton University, USA in 2010.