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The choice of spitzenkandidaten: A comparative analysis of the Europarties' selection procedures

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

© 2016 by the authors; licensee Cogitatio (Lisbon, Portugal). The selection of leading candidates by the political families, the so-called Spitzenkandidaten, is relatively groundbreak-ing as it is the first form of political recruitment organized at the EU level. The literature on candidate selection proce-dures has so far concentrated on national parties and their procedures. To our knowledge the analytical model has not yet been applied at the EU level. This article will fill this gap by examining the selection procedures of Europarties, more particularly for their EC presidency candidates, a novelty of the 2014 European Parliament elections. Based on the anal-ysis of the procedures applied within the European People’s Party (EPP), the Party of European Socialists (PES), the Alli-ance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE), the European Green Party (EGP), and the Party of the Europe-an Left (EL), one of the main findings of this article is that the procedures are largely copy-paste from the Europarties’ internal procedures for selecting a president. This can largely be explained by the lack of time and experience their par-ty elites had in the run-up to the 2014 elections. We therefore expect the Europarties to further professionalize their selection procedures and start the process earlier with more high profile politicians to stand as candidates in 2019.
Journal: Politics and Governance
ISSN: 2183-2463
Issue: 1
Volume: 4
Pages: 9 - 22
Publication year:2016