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A critical juncture? the 2004 European elections and the making of a supranational elite†

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This article considers the emergence of a cohesive political elite within the European Parliament. Moving from a short review of the literature and drawing on some preliminary data, the paper discusses alternative hypotheses to explain the recruitment and career pattern of MEPs and introduces a typology of members. Afterwards, the paper compares representatives of the new EU member states with the ‘pioneer parliamentarians' elected in 1979 and with their colleagues elected in the 15 countries of the ‘old' European Union. Signs of a new pattern of European political career appear to be emerging, thus providing a new possible set of explanatory hypotheses about the evolution of European Union representatives.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13572330500166618

Affiliations: 1: University of Siena 2: University of Jena/Collaborative Research Unit 580

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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