Harald Schoen
Not a powerful electoral issue yet: On the role of European integration in the 2017 German federal election

Journal of European Public Policy, 2019: 26, Heft 5, S. 717-733
ISSN: 1350-1763 (print); 1466-4429 (online)

This article explores the role of European integration in affecting voting behaviour in the 2017 German federal election. Building on a theoretical analysis of EU issue voting, it demonstrates that despite a list of issues on the European agenda, EU-related issues did not play a prominent role in the campaign, nor were issues primarily addressed from a European perspective. Relying on survey data collected before and after the election, the analysis demonstrates that voters perceived parties to differ considerably on EU integration, but they did not care much about it. Attitudes towards European integration and financial aid to EU member states were only mildly related to vote choice in the 2017 election. European integration thus has not yet become a powerful political issue in Germany. The paper concludes by discussing implications for EU issue voting in future German elections.