Outside their comfort zone?

National parties, European Parliament groups and transnational parties

Authored by: David Hanley

Routledge Handbook of European Politics

Print publication date:  January  2015
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415626750
eBook ISBN: 9781315755830
Adobe ISBN: 9781317628361

10.4324/9781315755830.ch33

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Abstract

This chapter will deal with the transnational activities of the political parties which are discussed in Chapters 2732. To juxtapose the words ‘party’ and ‘transnational’ might already seem paradoxical, so rooted in their own national histories are the parties which operate in Europe today. Yet for all their rooting in national soil, the main party families in Europe have been involved, for a century or more, in transnational cooperation of various sorts; put simply, national parties (NPs) have engaged in joint actions and participated in various organizations alongside parties of the same family from other states. It is probably fair to say that such collaboration has generally been reluctant, conditional and very much in reaction to pressure, rather than being seen as a positive goal to be sought actively. Parties have had to step outside their comfort zone, and the experience has seldom been enjoyable.

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