Different Origins, Same Proposals? The Impact of the EU on the Policy Direction of Party Families

Kyriaki Nanou


Do parties with different ideological origins adjust their policies in response to the binding commitments that derive from the European integration process? This paper examines whether party platforms have adapted to the ideological content of EU treaty provisions – based on ‘neoliberalism’ and ‘regulated capitalism’ – across a range of policy areas The analysis builds on existing research which has examined how party families respond to the challenges and opportunities of the integration process. This is the first study that focuses on long-term party policy adjustment across different policy areas by examining whether there has been a shift away from core ideological goals towards the direction of EU policy. The main finding is that there has generally been a shift towards the direction of EU policy across all party families in both member and non-member states. The findings have implications for the quality of representation and functioning of democracy in the member states since the deepening of the European integration process reduces ideologically distinct policy alternatives across party families and can hinder policy innovation