EU and political parties: are EP elections and EU presidency parties’ priorities?
Although the presidency of the Council of the European Union and elections to the European Parliament are linked to the European political space, preparations for them are made on the national arena. Priorities of the political parties, however, are not the same in the case of these two events.
Preparations for the EU presidency is not a field for ideological and party involvement. A mosaic of different interests and variables which shall be taken into consideration (including the necessity of working out common priorities by the member states forming the trio of presidencies, taking into account the current international situation, finding a place on the EU calendar, respecting the EU’s progress in concrete policy areas) makes the interparty battles rank low on the list. When analysing the member states’ presidencies of the EU to date and participation of political parties in preparations for this event, we shall not expect great involvement on their part.
Elections to the European Parliament have been “domesticated”, “tamed” by the national political parties, political competition realities from the national level have been adapted for the level of European elections. However, the importance of these elections is not the same for individual political parties and is affected by many factors: position held by a given political party in the national political system, relations towards power wielding (a ruling or opposition party, a parliamentary or non-parliamentary party) and the national election calendar.