The Impact of EU Politicisation on Voting Behaviour in Europe

The Impact of EU Politicisation on Voting Behaviour in Europe

The Book's Argument

The EU’s importance is undeniable in member-states’ policy-making. From the euro to agriculture, from competition to the single-market, European-level decision-making influences the design of member-states’ policies. The reality of the EU is everywhere, and it has gained in importance in the last decades, both in level and in scope (Börzel, 2005), as a result of the successive crises (Genschel & Jachtenfuchs, 2016), and may even have undergone a paradigmatic shift in policies and processes in the health and economic domains following the covid-19 crisis (Schmidt, 2020).

Concerning policy-making, the Maastricht Treaty and the implementation of European Monetary Union was a turning point for European integration, as it opened the way for further deepening. The introduction of the euro as well as free movement of citizens made it clear that the EU had become a part of citizens’ everyday life. Hooghe and Marks’ (2009) seminal contribution posited that, since Maastricht, the EU had shifted from a “permissive consensus” to a “constraining dissensus”, where citizens and their views on Europe had to be taken into account when considering further steps in European integration.

In the last 15 years, marked by successive crises, the EU has become more political, as its institutions have often intervened in a discretionary way to respond to the multiple challenges that have arisen (Middelaar, 2019). During the Eurozone crisis, in the response to covid-19, as well as following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the EU has responded in a purposeful way, rather than simply following rules and norms set out by the Treaties.

Yet, the deepening of EU integration through the effective supranationalisation of policies and politics has not been accompanied by a change in the Treaties, which would formally increase the level of accountability of the EU, as would perhaps have been expected by neo-functionalists and federalists alike. This, therefore, leads us to pose the following question: Where are then, the deepened channels of accountability to accompany the renewed importance in decision making which the EU has acquired? While many scholars continue to monitor the functioning of EP elections to detect a Europeanisation of political behaviour at that level, this book argues that accountability is occurring at the national level. It follows this argument through an examination of politicisation at the media and parliamentary levels, and then on the importance of EU issue voting at the national level and how it is shaped by the informational and party contexts.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 - Holding Europe Accountable Nationally: Media, Parliaments and Voting in Europe
Marina Costa Lobo

Chapter 2 - News vs. Opinion Articles on the European Union: The Politicisation of the EU in the Mainstream Press
Tiago Silva and Yani Kartalis

Chapter 3 - Parties Acting Strategically: National Parliaments’ Role in Holding the EU Accountable
Yani Kartalis and Tiago Silva

Chapter 4 - Polity or Policies? The European Union in Parliamentary Debates and the Media
Nelson Santos and Susana Rogeiro Nina

Chapter 5 - Experimental Evidence of EU Issue Voting
Roberto Pannico and Marina Costa Lobo

Chapter 6 - The Left–Right Dimension, Europe and Voting in Bailout Europe
Lea Heyne, Marina Costa Lobo, and Roberto Pannico

Chapter 7 - EU Issue Voting in Simultaneous Elections: The Case of Belgium
Dieter Stiers

Chapter 8 - The Importance of EU Issues in German Elections
Rosa M. Navarrete and Marc Debus

Chapter 9 - After the Crisis: EU Issue Voting in Greece
Roula Nezi

Chapter 10 - Salient But Not Polarized: The Role of the EU in the Irish Electoral Arena
Lea Heyne

Chapter 11 - Portugal: EU Issue Voting in Mainstream and Challenger Parties
Marina Costa Lobo

Chapter 12 - A Broken National Consensus? EU Issue Voting and the Radical Right in Spain
Hugo Marcos-Marne

Chapter 13 - Consequences of EU Politicisation for Voting in National Elections
Marina Costa Lobo