Tapio Raunio,"Why European Integration Increases
Leadership Autonomy within Political Parties," Party
Politics, 8 (July, 2002), 405-425.
Measuring power within parties is a complex task. Studies on
party organizations have traditionally focused on election
campaigns and candidate or leadership selection. These are
arguably also the most important dimensions of party
behaviour, as winning votes and gaining office are essential
for influencing policy and therefore shape the behaviour of
party leaders and MPs (Gallagher et al., 2001: 280-9).
However, the question of who formulates party policy between
elections or party congresses remains under-researched
(Scarrow et al., 2000: 144-5). This is understandable,
because measuring the relative power of individuals or party
organs is notoriously difficult (Heidar, 1984).
Nevertheless, party theorists have been warning about
centralizing tendencies within parties at least since the
1960s. While scholars may disagree about the extent and
sources of centralization, the actual concentration of power
in the party leadership is rarely disputed.
Figures and Tables:
Finally, European integration will arguably weaken links
between national parties and interest groups. This argument
is based on two factors. First, an increasing number of
important policy decisions are taken at the European level
either by the Council or the Commission. Depending on the
policy sector, interest groups lobby the Commission and
national governments represented in the Council.
Establishing direct contacts with EU institutions and
national ministries is more important than before, as
lobbying individual parties is no longer a successful
strategy for influencing the policy process. Much lobbying
activity in national politics was concentrated in policy
areas that presently belong to the jurisdiction of the EU --
internal market, consumer rights, external trade,
agriculture and environmental policy. Second, EU directives
and competition rules set limits to patronage. For example,
according to Luther and Deschouwer (1999: 261):
[N]ot being a member of the EU enabled the Austrian
party elites to continue to use the state for purposes of
linkage with their own rank and file, for whom they provided
selective and policy-based material incentives. EU
directives introduce a number of limits, such as the
obligation to open the market for state contracts to all
European firms, which means that existing agreements on
divisions of the internal market can no longer be honoured.
Similarly, regional policy is to an increasing extent
decided by the EU, not national governments, and this
diminishes parties' ability to use regional policy to reward