Edited By Lucia Bonfreschi, Giovanni Orsina and Antonio Varsori
“From Mistrust to Cooperation”. Relations between the Christian Democratic and Conservative Parties at the European Level in the 1970s-1990s
“From Mistrust to Cooperation”
Relations between the Christian Democratic and Conservative Parties at the European Level in the 1970s-1990s*
Associate Professor, Jagiellonian University, Kraków
The first direct election to the European Parliament was held in 1979, but the decision to introduce it at the end of the 1970s had already been made at the Hague Community summit of December 1969 and then confirmed at the Brussels summit of December 1974. This marked the beginning of a new phase in transnational party cooperation. One of its most significant developments was the introduction of the European extra-parliamentary organisations of political parties.1 The cooperation among those parties who belong to the same party families became closer and they started to form transnational party federations that were responsible for election campaign coordination.2 Such organisations were created by the Socialist and Liberal parties in the form of the Confederation of Socialist Parties (1974) and the Federation of European Liberals and Democrats (1976) respectively.
The Christian Democratic parties were also interested in creating a transnational federation. There was even an idea to form a broad right wing alliance with the Conservative parties, however it failed and as a result two organisations were created: the European People’s Party (1976) ← 259 | 260 → and the European Democrat Union (1978).3 Originally, relations between the EPP and the EDU were strained, but over the course of about twenty years they underwent a significant...
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