This book offers a systematic analysis of the role of political parties in the European Union in the process of Community integration. The author looks at the theoretical and empirical dimensions of the transnational structures of the parties and their stake in the institutions of the EU. Examining the manifestos and programmes that the principal political parties of the six most populated states of the EU presented during the campaign for the European parliamentary elections of 2004, he provides an analysis of their political strategies, placing the parties on both the classic left/right axis and that of supranationalism/intergovernmentalism.
The focus is specifically on the statements and policy proposals of the parties on the following issues related to the EU as a political system: the nature of the EU, the reach of its territorial space, the debate about a European citizenry, the various projects for institutional reform of the EU and the principal concrete public policies regarding the three pillars. Based on the methodological perspective of comparative politics, the book addresses in a transversal manner the parties’ core programmes and their implications for Europe.