Acta Politica

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 71–85

Governance, Europarties and the challenge of democratic representation in the EU: A case study of the Party of European Socialists

  • Erol Külahci
  • Simon Lightfoot
Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/ap.2013.26

Cite this article as:
Külahci, E. & Lightfoot, S. Acta Polit (2014) 49: 71. doi:10.1057/ap.2013.26


Europarties are at the centre of the potential democratisation of European governance and their development is key to supranational representation. The authors will address the more general question of why Europarties have not so far shaped significantly European governance and policy by focusing on one of the main Europarties – the Party of European Socialists (PES). This article tests a number of claims about the factors accounting for weak Europarty influence over European Union (EU) governance. In this article, the authors discuss these claims by considering successively three complementary interrelated dimensions: the constraints placed upon the social democratic family by the EU institutional environment, the PES socio-economic policy offer and the collective action problem in relation to fighting European elections as a unified party on a unified platform.


Party of European Socialistssocial democracyEuropean UnionEuropartiesGovernanceDemocracy

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erol Külahci
    • 1
  • Simon Lightfoot
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre d’étude de la vie politique, Université libre de Bruxelles.
  2. 2.University of LeedsLeedsUK