Waiting for the green light: tracing candidate selection by the French Green party in the 2014 European elections

Abstract

A widespread assumption is that national political parties use candidate selection for European elections to promote unexperienced politicians or to offer a luxury retirement home to senior national figureheads. Yet, if much criticism is addressed to the outcomes of the parties’ selection procedures, the actual processes that lead to such outcomes are under remarkably little scrutiny. This article traces the candidate recruitment process that took place in the French party Europe Ecology—The Greens ahead of the 2014 European elections. It investigates how the greens have juggled between their participatory ideals and short-term campaign imperatives. Results show that different combinations of logics have prevailed at different times in the process of nomination. Although the party elite carefully designed a process to maximise its goals, developments ultimately escaped its control.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    5.9 is in fact the average time for which MEPs hold their seat in the EP, yet larger countries usually display higher figures: 9.7 for the UK, 8.6 for Germany, 6.7 for Spain (but 4.7 for Italy). For a complete overview, see: Beauvallet et al. (2013: 5).

  2. 2.

    All translations are from the author.

  3. 3.

    See also: Table 2 in “Appendix 1”.

  4. 4.

    EELV, Règlement Intérieur, version Janvier 2013: III-2(1): Désignation de candidat/e/s dans le cadre de scrutins de listes.

  5. 5.

    The (Federal) Congress is the body of EELV where the political orientation is decided. It is the gathering of delegates pre-designated during a first decentralized phase. The Federal Congress elects financial commissioners, the national share of the Federal Council and the Members of the National Executive Board (EELV statutes, version of November 2010, article 48).

  6. 6.

    See also: La Motion Participative, “Un autre Cap est possible”: <https://lmpeelv.wordpress.com/2013/09/24/eelv-un-autre-cap-est-possible/>.

  7. 7.

    See: Table 3 in “Appendix 2”.

  8. 8.

    Results: Cast ballots: 136; For: 109; Against: 25; Blank: 2; Total For: 81.34%.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

Table 2 The candidate selection process in EELV: premises and outcomes

Appendix 2

Table 3 Modelling of the positions of the aspirants on the EELV list according to the members’ vote

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Kelbel, C. Waiting for the green light: tracing candidate selection by the French Green party in the 2014 European elections. Fr Polit 19, 20–50 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41253-019-00104-7

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Keywords

  • Candidate selection
  • European elections
  • Green parties
  • Political recruitment