Variations in Social Europe? National Political Parties' Positions on EU-level Social Regulations

Zhen Jie Im*

*Corresponding author for this work

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How do national political parties vary in their views on Social Europe? I focus on an aspect that has received less attention despite its growing prevalence—EU regulations with ambitions to diminish social inequality to encourage social convergence among Member States. Since the Juncker Commission, the European Commission has become increasingly active in pursuing this aspect of Social Europe. Thus, understanding parties' positions on this aspect of Social Europe has become more important. However, current literature lacks measures of national party stances towards Social Europe, and explanations for these stances. Here, I use data from the Chapel Hill Expert Survey (2006, 2009, 2014 and 2019) to develop an indirect measure of party positions on Social Europe. Leveraging studies in party politics and EU politics, I propose that party families and national economic conditions may affect parties' positions on Social Europe. The analyses suggest substantial variation in parties' positions on Social Europe both within and across party families. The analyses also demonstrate that socialist and green parties support Social Europe most, whereas radical right parties support it least. Lastly, I do not find systematic evidence that national economic conditions influence parties' support for this aspect of Social Europe.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 18. February 2024.


  • European Union
  • Political parties
  • Party positions
  • Social Europe

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