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