01 May 2004

Preview of the 2004 European Parliament Elections

Results of an EPIN Survey of National Experts

Sebastian Kurpas / Ben Crum / Marco Incerti

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EPIN Working Paper No. 11, 21 pages

The upcoming election for the European Parliament appears in many respects less like one European-wide election than like 25 parallel elections in each of the EU member states. Rather than identifying clearly discernible patterns running across the whole of the European Union, we find different trends emerging in different countries in the principal aspects of the elections: namely campaign issues, likely voter turn-out, the kinds of candidates whose names will appear on the slates and the eventual outcome.
The findings presented in this paper are based on the results of a survey conducted among national experts associated with the European Policy Institutes Network (EPIN). As such they are inherently subjective, but well-informed. While the actual outcomes of the election are bound to prove our findings wrong in one or another respect, they do indicate some interesting trends that in the end do not hinge on the predictions being exactly right for one country or the other. Rather, it is the recognition of a slow, faltering but at times undeniable emergence of a European political dynamic that is the main object of this study.