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Is the European vote national or European?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Review
  3. Conclusion

Europe has attracted much criticism for building itself far from the clutches of the common people, by belonging to an elite club. The European Parliament elections by universal suffrage in 1979 and the gradual increase in the powers of this parliament have allowed the Europeans to believe that they could finally take over the construction of Europe. However, European elections are still considered as second-order elections, possessing neither basis nor structure of the political system. The record low turnout of 2009 (57 %) confirms the idea that Europeans do not know how to position themselves regarding the European elections. This raises the question if the European vote is a national vote or a European vote.

Initially, one will see that the election for the European Parliament is certainly a European vote, but the issues are national. In a second step, this document will try to understand the reasons for the nationalization of the European elections. Finally a third time, it will see that gradually, European issues are beginning to take their place in the European elections. Political parties use the European elections in order to position themselves in public opinion at national level. In a way, voters understand these elections as the elections to national issue because it is the way it is presented by the national political parties.

In the Czech Republic, 50% of the respondents said they wanted the European election campaign to deal with specific issues in the country. For a day at the European elections the Czech said: "The issue is not only the seats in Parliament but also the future of the government". In the 2004 campaign, political parties did not address issues such as the pending European constitution, membership of Turkey, relations with the United States. These are issues that divide voters too and with which political parties are unwilling to take risks.

Tags: European vote- national or European; reasons for nationalization of European elections; European issues; European elections

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