More diverse than united?

A comparative analysis of the EU elections 2024

In June 2024, EU citizens will head to the polls for the 10th time to elect their representatives in the European Parliament. While EP elections remain ‘second-order elections’, in which national parties compete on the basis of domestic issuess, the 2024 edition takes place in a particularly turbulent context that could significantly impact the vote. Given Russia’s war of aggression still raging in Ukraine, on the EU’s borders, the uncertain outcome of the US elections in November 2024, and heightened tensions between the US and China with all the multiple consequences of these crises and of the ongoing poly-transition – the stakes of the upcoming elections are arguably higher than ever before. The rumor mill is already in overdrive with warnings that the far right is likely to shake the political establishment at the ballot box and take as much as a quarter  of the seats in the next European assembly.

How are political parties addressing today’s complex challenges in their programmes and electoral campaigns – and how do they differ in doing so? Which topics dominate the debates? How will the results affect the balance of power in the next European Parliament and other EU institutions? What will the policy implications be? In this project, we seek to answer these questions by focusing on a number of key member states in comparative perspective.

About the project

From early 2024 to the autumn, together with several European think tanks and research organisations we monitor, compare, and analyse on the basis of a common methodological approach the election campaigns and results in four major member states – France, Germany, Italy, and Poland. We also discuss the aggregated results from an EU-level perspective.

The project identifies commonalities and differences in political issues and public debates across the EU; reveals ideological and issue-based cleavages; and compares attitudes of citizens in the different countries studied. It gives insights on how democracies are faring in key EU member states and the influential trends on EU decisions in the new policy cycle. It also looks at how the elections will impact the policy direction of the next European leadership, offering clues about the prospect of new initiatives and policy reforms, uncovering potential obstacles to treaty reforms, and indicating common positions among the four countries analysed. The research group also discusses the extent to which campaigns are linked to national issues or Europeanised, and whether a connection can be drawn between turnout and electoral issues.

The research will be presented  in separate country reports. In addition, a final report, including an EU chapter and recommendations, will be published by September 2024.

The research findings will also be discussed in national roundtables in the different capitals, as well as during a roundtable and a launch conference in Brussels.

The project aims to create a uniquely European perspective on the election campaigns and results, providing  insights for EU and national stakeholders who would like to improve and Europeanise the EP electoral processes. It also attempts to Europeanise the work of think tanks across Europe.

Project Partners & Reseachers

The project is conducted as a joint cooperation between Das Progressive Zentrum (Berlin, Germany) and the European Policy Centre (Brussels, Belgium). In addition, it includes the following partner organisations: Istituto Affari Internazionali (Italy), Terra Nova (France) and Krytyka Polityczna (Poland), which provide specific expertise to allow for a fuller European perspective.

Sophie Pornschlegel

Sophie Pornschlegel is a Policy Fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum and currently works as Director of Studies with the Brussels think-tank Europe Jacques Delors.She teaches a course on European integration at Sciences Po Paris and is the author of the book “Am Ende der gewohnten Ordnung: Warum wir Macht neu denken müssen” (Droemer, 2023). She previously worked as Senior Policy Analyst at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, where her research focused on EU institutions, democracy and rule of law. Sophie studied political science and European affairs at Sciences Po Paris, King’s College London and the London School of Economics (LSE).

Corina Stratulat

Corina Stratulat is Associate Director and Head of the European Politics and Institutions Programme at the European Policy Centre. Her work at the EPC focuses on EU institutional developments and enlargement towards the Balkans. She holds an MPhil in Contemporary European Studies from the University of Cambridge, UK and a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute, Italy. Her main research interests include comparative Central and East European politics, parties and party systems, elections, democracy, populism, EU institutions, the Balkans’ EU integration, and enlargement policy. Together with Eric Maurice, Corina Stratulat will contribute Brussels perspective to the project binding together the findings from France, Poland, Italy and Germany.

Eric Maurice

Eric Maurice is a Policy Analyst in the European Politics and Institutions programme of the European Policy Centre. Before joining the EPC, he was head of the Brussels office of the Robert Schuman Foundation, a French think tank, where he worked on EU institutional developments, rule of law and strategic issues. Prior to that, he covered European as well as US politics as a journalist for almost 20 years working for Courrier International, Presseurop and EUobserver. Eric holds a MPhil in Contemporary History of International Relations from the Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University and graduated from the Paris Higer School of Journalism. He is also an alumni from the Executive Course in European Studies of France’s National School of Administration (ENA) and from France’s Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence (IHEDN).

Luca Barana

Luca Barana is a Senior fellow at Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI). His current research at IAI focuses on EU’s migration policies, the role of migration in EU’s external action and Italy’s foreign policy, and European political dynamics. After graduating in European Studies at the University of Studies of Turin, he has been Junior Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations (London/Turin) and Program Manager at the Centre for African Studies in Turin. He has been Coordinator of the Task Force 10 on Migration of the T20 – Italy 2021. He has recently edited the volume “Moving towards Europe”, which analyses migratory drivers and fragmented EU-bound migratory trajectories in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Marc-Olivier Padis

Marc-Olivier Padis is currently Research Director for Terra Nova. He is a publisher and commentator on French and European politics. He has been Chief Editor and Director of the journal Esprit for almost twenty years. From 2012 to 2017, he regularly appeared on the French public radio programme “L’Esprit public”, hosted by Philippe Meyer (now available online at www.lenouvelespritpublic.fr). He was a member of the Editorial Board for Eurozine (2009-2015) and a board member for the university Paris 3 Sorbonne-nouvelle as an outside personality in 2014 and 2015. From 2005 to 2011, he was a professor at Sciences Po Paris, teaching the major issues of European politics. He has published several books on French political philosophy (Marcel Gauchet, la genèse de la démocratie, Michalon, 1996) and on international issues (Les Multinationales du cœur, with Thierry Pech, Le Seuil/La République des idées).

Maria Skóra

Maria Skóra is a Research Associate at the Institut für Europäische Politik and a policy fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum. Previously, she was head of the International Dialogue program at Das Progressive Zentrum. She holds a master’s degree in sociology and a PhD in economics. 2018 Alumna of the Young Leaders Program at the Aspen Institute Central Europe in Prague. 2019 Visiting Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States and AICGS, Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. She previously worked for the Humboldt-Viadrina Governance Platform in Berlin and as an expert for the All-Poland Federation of Trade Unions in Warsaw.

Daniel Schade

Daniel Schade is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University and a Policy Fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum. He focuses on questions of European policy-making and the future of parliamentarism. After completing his doctorate at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), he worked at the Vienna School of International Studies, Otto-von-Guericke University, as well as Cornell University.

Project team

Dominic Schwickert

Executive Director of Das Progressive Zentrum

Maria Menzel-Meyer

Head of Communications

Aaron Remus

Deputy Head of Communications

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