Skip to main content
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: The 2014 European Parliament Elections
Etudes Européennes (2014)
  • Amir Abedi, Western Washington University

There are a number of reasons that may suggest that the upcoming elections to the European Parliament (EP) will be qualitatively different. The issue of Europe is more salient and politicized than ever in the domestic policy debates of most European Union (EU) member countries. There is a common trend of rising support for political parties that will campaign on an explicitly Eurosceptic platform which should force the mainstream parties to take a position on the future of the European integration process. The upcoming elections may become the first EP contest conducted with a focus on European issues with a common EU-wide electoral trend as opposed to 28 disparate elections fought mainly along national lines. This has the potential to mobilize a larger number of voters than in the past. Moreover, the Lisbon Treaty that came into effect in December 2009 has enhanced the significance of EP elections in relation to the selection of the next president of the European Commission. However, while all of these characteristics are certainly significant they will not change the underlying dynamic that has influenced all previous EP elections. It is more than likely that the 2014 elections, just like all of the preceding elections since 1979, will be conforming to the ‘second-order election’ model. Thus, rather than being a dramatic game changing event the 2014 EP elections may turn out to usher in more of the same.

  • European Parliament,
  • Second-Order Elections,
  • Eurosceptic Parties,
  • Anti- Establishment Parties,
  • Pan-European Parties,
  • President of the European Commission,
  • Lisbon Treaty,
  • European Council,
  • Eurozone Crisis,
  • Voter Turnout.
Publication Date
May 2, 2014
Publisher Statement
Copyright : Études européennes. La revue permanente des professionnels de l'Europe. - ISSN 2116-1917
Citation Information
Amir Abedi. "Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose: The 2014 European Parliament Elections" Etudes Européennes (2014)
Available at: