National Interests in the European Parliament: Roll Call Vote Analysis

  • Wojciech SłomczyńskiEmail author
  • Dariusz Stolicki
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9760)


We propose a method for identifying national interests in the European Parliament by comparing roll call vote results with MEPs’ expected ideological positions. We define a new measure – national shift index, corresponding to the magnitude of national delegation’s shift from the aggregate ideological position – which quantifies the influence of the national interest on the voting results. Using this measure, we identify issues characterized by strongest dominance of national factors and compare national delegations’ propensity to vote along national lines.


National interest National shift European Parliament Roll call votes 


  1. 1.
    Bailer, S.: Parliamentary party group discipline in comparison. 1st Annual General Conference of the European Political Science Association, Dublin (2011).
  2. 2.
    Callaghan, H., Höpner, M.: European integration and the clash of capitalisms: political cleavages over takeover liberalization. Comp. Eur. Politics 3(3), 307–332 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cicchi, L.: The logic of voting behaviour in the European parliament: new insights on party group membership and national affiliation as determinants of vote. IMT Ph.D. thesis, Lucca (2013).
  4. 4.
    Cohen, J.: A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educ. Psychol. Measur. 20(1), 37–46 (1960)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Cohen, J.: Weighted kappa: nominal scale agreement provision for scaled disagreement or partial credit. Psychol. Bull. 70(4), 213–220 (1968)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Costello, R., Thomson, R.: Bicameralism, nationality and party cohesion in the European parliament. Party Politics (2014). doi: 10.1177/1354068814563972 Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    European Parliament: Rules of Procedure. 7th Parliamentary Term, July 2010.
  8. 8.
    Faas, T.: To defect or not to defect? national, institutional and party group pressures on MEPs and their consequences for party group cohesion in the European parliament. Eur. J. Polit. Res. 42(6), 841–866 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Felsenthal, D.S., Machover, M.: Ternary voting games. Int. J. Game Theory 26(3), 335–351 (1997)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hix, S.: How often do UK MEPs get their way? Datablog, The Guardian (2015).
  11. 11.
    Hix, S.: Parliamentary behavior with two principals: preferences, parties, and voting in the European parliament. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 46(3), 688–698 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hix, S., Noury, A., Roland, G.: Dimensions of politics in the European parliament. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 50(2), 494–520 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hix, S., Noury, A., Roland, G.: Power to the parties: cohesion and competition in the European parliament, 1979–2001. Brit. J. Polit. Sci. 35(2), 209–234 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hix, S., Noury, A., Roland, G.: Voting patterns and alliance formation in the European parliament. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B Biol. Sci. 364(1518), 821–831 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kreppel, A., Tsebelis, G.: Coalition formation in the European parliament. Comp. Polit. Stud. 32(8), 933–966 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Laruelle, A., Valenciano, F.: Quaternary dichotomous voting rules. Soc. Choice Welfare 38(3), 431–454 (2011)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lindstädt, R., Slapin, J.B., Vander Wielen, R.J.: Legislative position-taking with multiple principals: a Bayesian analysis of EP roll call data. Legislative Stud. Q. 36(1), 37–70 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mühlböck, M.: National versus European: party control over members of the European parliament. W. Eur. Polit. 35(3), 607–631 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Noury, A.: Ideology, nationality and Euro-parliamentarians. Eur. Union Polit. 3(1), 33–58 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ringe, N.: Policy preference formation in legislative politics: structures, actors, and focal points. Am. J. Polit. Sci. 49(4), 731–745 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Słomczyński, W., Życzkowski, K.: Mathematical aspects of degressive proportionality. Math. Soc. Sci. 63(2), 94–101 (2012)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Storgaard, H.R., Gottlieb, M.H.: Konfliktdimensioner, stemmedisciplin og Melodi Grand Prix i Strasbourg. Et kvantitativt studie af stemmeadfærd i Europa-Parlamentet 1999–2014. Speciale aflagt ved Institut for Statskundskab, Københavns Universitet (2014).
  23. 23.
    Thomassen, J., Noury, A., Voeten, E.: Political competition in the European parliament: evidence from roll call and survey analyses. In: Marks, G., Steenbergen, M.R. (eds.) European Integration and Political Conflict, pp. 141–164. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (2004)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Vanbelle, S.: Agreement between raters and groups of raters. D.S. thesis, Dept. de Mathematique, Universite de Liege (2009).
  25. 25.
    Vanbelle, S., Albert, A.: Agreement between two independent groups of raters. Psychometrika 74(3), 477–491 (2009)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Voeten, E.: Enlargement and the ‘normal’ European parliament. In: Thomassen, J. (ed.) The Legitimacy of the European Union After Enlargement, pp. 93–114. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jagiellonian Center for Quantitative Research in Political Science and Institute of MathematicsJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Jagiellonian Center for Quantitative Research in Political Science and Institute of Political Science and International RelationsJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland

Personalised recommendations