Thomas König, Bernd Luig
The impact of EU decision-making on national parties’ attitudes towards European integration

European Union Politics, 2017: 18, issue 3, pp. 362-381
ISSN: 1465-1165 (print); 1741-2757 (online)

This study examines the implications of EU decision-making for national parties’ support for European integration. We argue, first, that EU decision-making promotes the support of parties that were closely located to EU outcomes. Second, we expect higher support of parties with governmental experience due to their access to key offices in EU decision-making. For the period from 1979 to 2012, we measure and interact both variables with the political, parliamentary and decentralizing nature of EU acts. In addition to the expected effects of outcome distance and government participation, we find that non-bureaucratic legislation generally improves national parties’ attitudes towards European integration. The involvement of the European Parliament increases the support of more distant parties, but discourages parties with high governmental experience. Finally, peripherally located (government) parties appreciate the decentral discretion of directives.