Hermann Schmitt, Jacques Thomassen
The European Party System after Enlargement

p. 23-43 in: Jacques Thomassen (Ed.): The Legitimacy of the European Union after Enlargement. 2009. Oxford: Oxford University Press

The chapter analyses how the EU party system has changed after Estern enlargement. It finds that, interestingly, it changed rather little, neither in terms of distinctiveness nor in terms of cohesion of the parliamentary groups. Moreover, the characteristic horse-shoe pattern of party competition was not affected by enlargement. The chapter concludes that once again, the EU party system has demonstrated its enormous capacity of integrating new members.