Transnational Party Europeanization: EPP and Ukrainian parties
The article investigates the Europeanization of party politics by examining the accession of national parties to Europarties as a process of European regional integration. The advanced theoretical framework combines International Relations and Comparative Politics approaches and analyzes the dialectic relationship between the European People’s Party (EPP) and Ukrainian domestic parties based on a systemic analysis of party manifestos and official documents, as well as discourse analysis. The study argues that the EPP has a direct, though weak, influence on aspiring Ukrainian members because of the low incentives, low degree of clarity of membership requirements and context-specific factors. In these circumstances, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung represents an informal channel for the Europeanization of Ukrainian center-right parties. A main finding is that despite the low size of material incentives and the lack of EU membership, both Ukrainian parties and the EPP engage in transnational cooperation following political incentives and ideational arguments.
KeywordsEuropeanization Europarty transnational party cooperation European Neighbourhood Ukraine post-communism
The author would like to thank Steven van Hecke, Simon Lightfoot, Benjamin von dem Berge, Geoffrey Pridham, David Hanley, the participants of 2011 EUSA conference, Boston, the USA (panel on ‘Euro-parties: Deepening versus Widening?’) and of the 2011 Workshop ‘Where now for Europarties: reflections post-Lisbon?’, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. Also, the author is grateful for the support of Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Maastricht University in conducting this research.
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