Hermann Schmitt, İlke Toygür
European Parliament Elections of May 2014: Driven by National Politics or EU Policy Making?

Politics and Governance, 2016: 4, Heft 1, S. 167-181
ISSN: 2183-2463 (online)

The 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections took place in a very particular environment. Economic crisis, bailout pack-ages, and austerity measures were central on the agenda in many Southern countries while open borders and intra-EU migration gained high salience elsewhere in the Union. A strong decline of political trust in European and national insti-tutions was alarming. At the same time, the nomination and campaigning of “Spitzenkandidaten”, lead candidates of EP political groups for European Commission (EC) presidency, was meant to establish a new linkage between European Parliament elections and the (s)election of the president of the Commission. All of this might have changed the very na-ture of EP elections as second-order national elections. In this paper, we try to shed light on this by analysing aggregate election results, both at the country-level and at the party-level and compare them with the results of the preceding first-order national election in each EU member country. Our results suggest that the ongoing politicisation of EU poli-tics had little impact on the second-order nature of European Parliament elections.