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Ever More Complex? Domestic Politics in the Enlarged European Union

Dirk Leuffen

This paper adds domestic politics to the growing debate about the consequences of Eastern enlargement for EU governance. Whereas most research in the field is devoted to analyzing the impact of structural variables such as GDP or agricultural employment on a possibly growing heterogeneity of preferences and in a second step on the outcomes of EU decision-making, this contribution takes stock of the wider and more complex political sphere in the enlarged EU. In particular, I compare the party political constellation in the EU's institutions before and after the enlargement. For instance, I ask whether there are more extremist parties in government and therefore in the Council since the accession of ten or twelve new member states. Does a growing amount of elections and, at the same time, a decline in electoral stability affect decision-making? In order to answer such questions information on domestic politics is linked to a data-set on EU legislative output. This data-set is based on Prelex and contains, amongst other things, information on legislative output in different policy areas. The paper thus investigates how party politics impacts on EU decision-making after the recent enlargement round.



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