The main goal of WP3 was to identify and map the issue emphasis and positions of the European political parties on the relevant axis of political competition at the time of the 2014 EP elections. By doing this, and merging the resulting data with existing studies, we were able assess to what extent the multi-faceted EU crisis lead parties to change their stances towards the EU.
In order to fulfill its initial goal WP3 collected and coded all the relevant parties’ manifestos issued before the European Parliamentary elections of 2014. The outcome of this process is the 2014 Euromanifesto dataset was archived with the GESIS Data Archive and is available for the general academic community (see https://dbk.gesis.org/dbksearch/sdesc2.asp?no=5162&db=e&doi=10.4232/1.5162).Furthermore this data was integrated with the previous existing data of the 1979-2009 Euromanifesto study providing a long-running diachronic database that records the emphasis and position of parties from 1979 to 2014. The integrated 1979-2014 Euromanifesto dataset was archived with the GESIS Data Archive and is available for the general academic community (see https://dbk.gesis.org/dbksearch/sdesc2.asp?no=5102&db=e&doi=10.4232/1.12830).
Making use of the integrated 1979-2014 Euromanifesto dataset the manuscript “Responding to the crisis: Eurosceptic parties of the left and right and their changing position towards the European Union” analyzes changes in the party positions towards the EU in the shadow of the multiple crises and studies what are the main factors that explain these changes. The manuscript is currently under review of a leading journal of the discipline.
A secondary research agenda that developed in connection to the 2014 Euromanifesto relates to how political parties choose to cover a new and important topic for the future of the EU, i.e. the Spitzenkandidaten system, and how does this impact the awareness of the topic among the public. Thus in the manuscript “The salience of the Spitzenkandidaten system among European parties”(forthcoming in West European Politics) shows that parties put less emphasis on the issue than the promoters of the systems would have hoped. Moreover, the factors promoting the Spitzenkandidaten system suggest that parties decide strategically upon emphasizing that topic or take a positive stance on it if they expect to benefit from this.
In relation to the main goal of the WP, has prepared two new manuscripts: the first is titled “The changing relationship between ideological dimensions and party positions on European integration” and it seeks to map the complex relation between the stances of parties towards European integration and both the socio-economic and culutral dimensions of political competition; the second manuscript is titled “Informing the Public: How Party Communication Builds Opportunity Structures”, and it shows that the degree to which parties choose to cover the topic in their manifestos does in certain circumstances impact the awareness of the topic among the public. Both manuscripts have been presented at different conferences and have been submitted to high ranked journals of Political Science.
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