Ideology, Nationality and Euro-Parliamentarians

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This article analyzes the voting behavior of Euro-parliamentarians. The roll-call data from the plenary sessions of the European Parliament (EP) during the third and fourth legislatures are used to estimate legislators' preferences. Applying the spatial models of roll-call voting to the EP, I investigate the dimensions underlying legislators' voting behavior. I focus on the relative importance of ideology (i.e. European-wide political party affiliation) versus nationality as the main factor influencing voting behavior. The results support the existence of a European political system in which the main actors are political groups, not national delegations. Also, the pattern of voting in the EP is found to be quite stable across time and issues. Moreover, after taking into account Members' political party affiliations, nationality becomes, though to a lesser extent, statistically significant in explaining legislators' ideal positions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-58
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Union Politics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2002


  • European Parliament
  • European Union
  • legislatures
  • voting behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Demography
  • Political Science and International Relations


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