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The mandate function of European Parliament elections : the relevance of election pledges to the powers of the European Parliament

Söderberg, M. (2020) The mandate function of European Parliament elections : the relevance of election pledges to the powers of the European Parliament.

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Abstract:EP election campaigns often concern issues extending beyond the EP’s powers and into broader EU- or national issues. A key part of these campaigns are election pledges which lay out how a party intends to act, enabling voters to give a mandate to carry out these plans. For this mechanism to function, a sufficient portion of pledges must fall within the EP’s competences. This study’s aim was therefore, using Dutch 2014 European election manifestos, to determine to what extent pledges are relevant to the EP’s powers and what this implies about the election’s mandate function. The study found that as much as 48% of pledges were too imprecise or subjective to be fulfillable by the EP, 22% concerned policy areas where the EP has insignificant powers or must rely on influence to affect outcomes, while the remaining 30% concerned policy areas where the EP has a decisive impact on decision-making. The potential maximum pledge fulfilment therefore lies between 30% and 52%. As the creation of a mandate requires a strong pledge-output link, these elections failed to create a mandate by failing to express the will of the voters in the policy areas where the EP has competence.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/85162
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