Europeanization of Christian Democracy? Negotiating Organization, Enlargement, Policy and Allegiance in the European People’s Party

  • Wolfram Kaiser
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


Are the European Communities (EC) transforming into ‘a Europe of the parties’? Against the background of the British debate about the nature of integration and (continued) membership in the EC, the political scientist David Marquand posed this question in an influential article published in 1978.1 Marquand, a former Labour Party MP until 1977, had just taken up an academic post after returning from a oneyear stint in Brussels, where he had worked as special advisor to the new Commission President Roy Jenkins. He anticipated (and supported) a much greater politicization of Community politics and an increased role of political parties in the wake of the first direct elections to the European Parliament (EP) scheduled for the following year. This expectation was widely shared among political scientists engaged in research on the formation of the new transnational European party organizations such as the European People’s Party (EPP), which was created in 1976. In fact, this first phase of research on European party cooperation had been sparked in the mid-1970s by the debate about direct elections already foreseen in the Rome Treaties. This research petered out in the early 1980s. It turned out that without additional legislative powers for the EP, the direct elections alone did not change significantly either the role of the EP or that of political parties in the Community’s public policy-making.2


European Union Political Party European Economic Community Party Leader European Parliament 
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