The Political Space in the European Parliament: Measuring MEPs' Preferences Amid the Rise of Euroscepticism
The 2014–2019 European Parliament (EP) contained an unprecedented number of Eurosceptic Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). These changes reflected a growing politicisation of European integration in which conflicts between those opposing the process and those favouring it became more pronounced. Using a unique time series of surveys of the European parliamentarians, we examine how far the policy preferences of the MEPs responded to this politicisation. MEPs' preferences over general policy questions as well as European Union (EU)-specific issues have traditionally been described by a multi-dimensional space: with a left-right dimension, incorporating both economic and socio-cultural issues, distinct from a pro-/anti-Europe dimension. We find that the political space in the EP evolved in the 2014–2019 parliament, with MEPs' preferences more strongly aligned along a single dimension, which captures economic, socio-cultural, and EU integration issues.
Leverhulme Research Project Grant,RPG-2014- 277
Author affiliationSchool of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester
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