MEPs in the 2014-19 European Parliament: The Rise of Euroscepticism?
The project examines the range of views represented in the European Parliament, changes in mainstream Members of the European Parliaments’ (MEPs) views over time, MEPs’ attitudes to democracy in the EU and the UK’s future relationship with the EU. It is based around a survey of MEPs, which will add to a time series of survey data collected by the European Parliament Research Group.
- Dr Richard Whitaker, Principal Investigator
- Professor Simon Hix (London School of Economics and Political Science), Co-investigator
- Dr Galina Zapryanova, Research Associate
What are the attitudes of MEPs on European integration and EU-level policies and how are these different from MEPs’ attitudes in the previous two parliaments? Is there a gap between the views of MEPs and voters on European integration and EU-level policies? What do MEPs think the UK's relationship with the EU should be and how much support is there for a renegotiation of the conditions of UK membership?
In the context of the democratic and economic challenges facing the EU, understanding the European Parliament and its members has become of crucial importance. The project will carry out a survey of MEPs in the 2014-19 European Parliament. Data generated by the survey will make three major contributions to understanding the European Parliament:
- The survey will allow researchers to address central questions about the range of views represented in the European Parliament, changes in mainstream MEPs’ views over time, MEPs’ attitudes to democracy in the EU and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
- The project will complement studies of European election candidates and voters. Understanding the relationship between the views of representatives and those they represent is crucial in a situation where citizens’ trust in EU institutions has fallen. The project will facilitate a programme of empirical enquiry into the nature of political representation in the EU including understanding how well the public's views are represented among MEPs.
- The project will extend a valuable time-series of surveys of MEPs, covering every elected European Parliament since 1979. The continuity of these studies greatly assists in understanding how the EP and its membership have changed in response to enhancement of the EP’s powers, the economic crisis, enlargement of the EU and declining trust in the EU’s institutions.
The research is funded by the Leverhulme Trust - an independent charity that supports academic research in the UK.
Preliminary results of the survey were presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, September 2015. More details to follow soon.
For further information please contact Dr. Richard Whitaker.