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The changing composition of the European parliament: MEPs from 1979 to 2014

Abstract

This paper updates data on the EP’s composition in light of the latest electoral results. It points to the somewhat contradictory dynamics currently affecting the parliamentary space, and emphasizes the EP’s relative stabilization, the emergence of a transnational parliamentary elite and the relative heterogeneity of current processes at work within the institution. In doing so it illustrates the EP’s position at the intersection of national political fields. Although the assembly and the MEPs’ backgrounds are more stable than previously, this stability affects representatives differently. Our analysis consists in investigating variations according to political group and nationality, two particularly structuring factors in parliamentary space.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This article received support from the Excellence Initiative of the University of Strasbourg, funded by the French government's Future Investments program.

  2. 2.

    Data on the first and sixth terms were entered by Willy Beauvallet and Sébastien Michon. Data on the seventh term was entered by Willy Beauvallet, Victor Lepaux and Sébastien Michon, and subsequently complemented by Gomatee Lahsen thanks to funding by the Strasbourg School of European Studies (University of Strasbourg Project of Excellence). Data on the eighth term was entered by Victor Lepaux and Céline Monicolle, and later complemented by Sébastien Michon.

  3. 3.

    Reelection rates vary particularly widely according to nationality: between 0 per cent for Greek and Italian MEPs and over 60 per cent for Germans and Luxembourgers. French MEPs are somewhere in the middle on this, with a reelection rate slightly above 40 per cent (like Poland and Slovenia).

  4. 4.

    Source: « Femmes au sein des 27 Parlements nationaux (chambres basses ou uniques) », Fondation Robert Schuman, 26 septembre 2012, http://www.robert-schuman.eu/doc/femmes_en_europe.pdf, consulted on 21 November 2012.

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Correspondence to Sébastien Michon.

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Translated from French by Jean-Yves Bart

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Beauvallet-Haddad, W., Michon, S., Lepaux, V. et al. The changing composition of the European parliament: MEPs from 1979 to 2014. Fr Polit 14, 101–125 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/fp.2015.21

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Keywords

  • European elections
  • members of european parliament
  • political professionalization
  • political recruitment
  • women