1st Edition

Assessing the 2019 European Parliament Elections

    272 Pages 67 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    272 Pages 67 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Informed by and against the backdrop of the 2019 European Parliament (EP) elections, this innovative book provides a critical assessment of where Europe stands in terms of the quest to achieve democratic legitimacy. Since the 2014 EP elections, the European Union (EU) has experienced multiple crises, which arguably have undermined its legitimacy.

    The 2019 EP elections were hence seen as a crucial moment in the EU’s attempts to show resilience and regain trust. Using political science and legal frames of analysis, Assessing the 2019 European Parliament Elections provides an understanding and assessment of the current politico-legal framework, and its impact on European elections. Furthermore, using original data, it provides a timely examination of public opinion issue priorities and voting behaviour at the 2019 EP elections in eight countries. Given the critical conjuncture that the 2019 EP elections represent, this volume provides a key contribution to understanding both the dynamics surrounding the elections, as well as voters’ responses, and informs debates on European politics, for example, second-order elections, democratic legitimacy and political representation.

    This book will be of key interest to scholars and students of EU politics, public administration, European studies, European law, and sociology, along with practitioners in politics, journalism, and policy analysis.

    Introduction: Assessing the 2019 European Parliament Elections

    Carolina Plescia, James Wilhelm, Sylvia Kritzinger, Kolja Raube and Jan Wouters

    Part I: The Politico-Legal Framework of the 2019 European Elections

    1. The Long and Winding Road towards a European Electoral Law
    Jan Wouters

    2. From Dawn to Doom: The institutionalization of the Spitzenkandidaten-process during European elections and its final negation
    Kolja Raube

    3. The Fall of the Spitzenkandidaten: Political parties and conflict in the 2019 European elections
    Pieter de Wilde

    4. Party-groups and Ideological Cleavages in the European Parliament after the 2019 Elections
    Ben Crum

    Part II: Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour at the 2019 European Parliament Elections

    5. European Parliament Elections as Second Order National Elections
    Michael Marsh

    6. First-Order Breakthrough or Still Second Order? An assessment of the 2019 EP elections
    Carolina Plescia, James Wilhelm and Sylvia Kritzinger

    Part III: The 2019 European Parliament Elections in Eight Countries

    7. The 2019 EP Election in Austria: A highly salient domestic test election
    Sylvia Kritzinger, Julia Partheymüller and Carolina Plescia

    8. The 2019 EP Election in Denmark: A European election within a national contest
    Henrik Bech Seeberg and James Wilhelm

    9. Second-Order or Second Hand? The 2019 EP election in France
    Tanja Schüberl, Camille Kelbel and Julien Navarro

    10. Between Migration and the Climate Crisis: The 2019 EP election in Germany
    Julia Partheymüller, Bernd Schlipphak and Oliver Treib

    11. Orbán’s Long Shadow: The 2019 European Parliament election in Hungary
    Pál Susánszky and Sylvia Kritzinger

    12. 2019 European Election in Italy: Second-order but still salient elections?
    Carolina Plescia and Sylvia Kritzinger

    13. The 2019 EP Election in Poland: In the shadow of extreme polarization
    Maciej A. Górecki, Carolina Plescia and Marta Zerkowska-Balas

    14. The 2019 EP Election in Spain: Settling a national score?
    José Fernández-Albertos and James Wilhelm

    From Second-Order towards First-Order Elections: Some Concluding Observations
    James Wilhelm, Sylvia Kritzinger, Carolina Plescia, Kolja Raube and Jan Wouters


    Sylvia Kritzinger is Professor of Social Science Research Methods in the Department of Government at the University of Vienna, Austria.

    Carolina Plescia is Assistant Professor and Hertha Firnberg scholar in the Department of Government at the University of Vienna, Austria.

    Kolja Raube is Assistant Professor for European Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at KU Leuven, and Research Manager at the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies, Belgium.

    James Wilhelm is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Vienna Center for Electoral Research at the University of Vienna, Austria.

    Jan Wouters is Full Professor of International Law and International Organizations, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam European Union and Global Governance, and Director of the Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at KU Leuven, Belgium.

    "This timely volume examines the 2019 elections to the European Parliament. Bringing together leading scholars of European politics and electoral behaviour, it assesses how reforms to the EU’s legal rules have influenced these elections and the democratic legitimacy of the Union. It also provides a careful analysis of the election campaigns and voting behaviour in eight EU countries. Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in European Parliament elections and the ongoing debate on democracy in the EU."

    Sara Hobolt, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK.

    "This excellent book gives a very complete account of the 2019 European Parliament (EP) elections in a unique format that provides both breadth and depth. Its early chapters survey the general features of those elections, providing contextual background needed to understand the results. These chapters are followed by eight more, each of which provies an in-depth look at how the elections played out in especially interesting countries, for which the general patterns introduced earlier are spelled out. The volume has some unique features. The first is a focus in the changing electoral framework under which EP elections are conducted, along with an assessment of the consequences of those changes. Another is the use of pre-election surveys, in addition to the more usual post-election surveys, with the same respondents being interviewed at two points in time. This allows assessments of campaign effects on voters. These unique features of the book provide new insights into the functioning of EP elections as the EU's electoral processes mature."

    Mark Franklin, Trinity College, USA.

    "Assessing the 2019 European Parliament Elections offers a definitive analysis of the landmark 2019 elections. For years, reformers sought to strengthen the EU's democratic legitimacy with institutional innovations designed to enhance citizen engagement and the accountability of EU leaders to voters. How did citizens respond in 2019? Did the reforms actually enhance the legitimacy of the EU? With cross-cutting analyses of the impact of institutional developments such as the rise and fall of the Spitzenkandidaten process and of public opinion, along with detailed assessments of the election in eight diverse member states, the editors and contributors to this interdisciplinary volume offer a comprehensive and deeply insightful account. Assessing the 2019 European Parliament Elections is a must read for anyone interested in the development of the EU as a democratic polity."

    R. Daniel Kelemen, Rutgers University, USA.