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Political Parties in the European Union
Political parties in the European Union

European democracy is effectively party democracy. However, according to recent literature on political parties, they are gradually undergoing transformation: ‘[I]t would be an overstatement to write the parties’ political obituary, but a pattern of partisan decline – or at least a transformation in the role played by parties – is increasingly apparent in almost all advanced industrial democracies’ (Dalton and Wattenberg 2000: 3). The party transformation thesis is based primarily on the eroding linkage between parties and citizens. But while parties may not be as firmly rooted in civil society as before, no similar decline has occurred in the legislature and government. Indeed, the member states of the European Union (EU) continue to be ...

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