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Luciano Bardi, "Transnational Trends in European Parties and the 1994 Elections of the European Parliament," Party Politics , 2 (January, 1996), 99-114.

First Paragraph:
In June 1994, over 265 million citizens from the 12 member countries of the European Union (EU) were called to elect, for the fourth time through universal suffrage, the European Parliament (EP). As was the case in 1979, 1984 and 1989, and due to the continuing expansion of the European electorate, the 1994 EP election was arguably the world's largest 'free' election ever. The 1994 election also witnessed the fourth consecutive increase in the size of the EP. With 567 members (an increase of 49 over 1989, resulting from the allocation of 18 seats to former East Germany and from other minor adjustments),the fourth directly elected EP was larger than its predecessors. Owing to the inclusion in the Maastricht treaty of new procedures which involved enhanced decision-making powers for the EP, and a role in the nomination of the Commission and its president, the new parliament was also more powerful.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Seat distribution in the European Parliament by EP party group 1979-94,and seat gains and losses, 1989-94.
Table 2: EU party system indicators 1979-94.

Last Paragraph:
Elections could contribute to the reinforcement of the 'two-speed' character of the EP system of party groups. The longer-established groups - the EPP and, to a slightly lesser extent, the LDR and the PES - which already tend towards the creation of cohesive Europarties, benefit the most from the EP's institutional pressures. All three are based on sufficiently ubiquitous party families to be able to counter electoral effects which may negatively affect some of their national components. On the other hand, groups whose survival depends on the fortunes of a few national delegations can show their vulnerability at election time.