The European People’s Party and the Restructuring of Right-Wing Parties in Europe
The European People’s Party (EPP) emerged as the clear winner of the 1999 European elections. After four Parliaments, it finally moved ahead of the Socialists and now has a good chance of ending the deal between Christian Democrats and Social Democrats by which they ran the European Parliament (EP) together. Even if the EPP will always need the support of the Party of European Socialists (PES) to steer certain issues in a federalist direction, it is nonetheless in the driver’s seat. This outcome is due to several factors, among which the election results of the parties belonging to the EPP in 1994 were not necessarily the most important. What did pay off, in fact, was the EPP’s strategy of gaining reinforcements across the board by absorbing parties close to it, but sometimes also parties from further away. This has put the EPP at the heart of the process of rebuilding the moderate right in Europe, but at the cost of losing some of the features that made it distinct.
KeywordsDemocratic Party European Parliament Liberal Group Full Membership European Election
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