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European Parliament Elections 2019: Challenges, Turnout and Prospects

Friday May 31, 2019, from 14:00 to 15:00
Room 24.009 (Ground Floor). Mercè Rodoreda 24 building

Professor Madeleine O. Hosli (UNU-CRIS and Leiden University)

Has turnout in European Parliamentary elections decreased over time? While this certainly appears to be the case in absolute terms, a more nuanced analysis, replicating a study presented by Mark Franklin in 2001, reveals a more complex picture. When ‘structural factors’ such as compulsory voting, the effect of EP elections being held for the first time in an EU member state, ‘electoral salience’ (measured as the temporal distance to the next national parliamentary election) and the share of post-2004 countries in the total EU membership are accounted for, our analysis reveals that these can partially explain the observed lowering in real turnout rates.

The explanatory power of the models capturing the situation in the aftermath of the 1999 EP elections are, however, lower than when they are applied to earlier EP elections. This leads to the additional observation that while structural factors offer a plausible explanation for the decline in EP turnout rates over time, their relative influence is gradually decreasing. The paper takes these estimations as a basis to reflect about the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections and offers some insights into how the elections might affect EU decision-making (and relations with international organizations such as the United Nations).

The paper (without taking the 2019 EP elections into account) by Madeleine O. Hosli, Marijn Nagtzaam and Jaroslaw Kantorowicz is available here: European Parliament Elections: Estimating Adapted Turnout Rates. UNU Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies

Professor Madeleine O. Hosli has been appointed as Director of UNU-CRIS as of 1 June 2017. Professor Hosli has a distinguished career researching and teaching on European integration, international organisations, and international political economy. She has been a Professor of International Relations at Leiden University (Netherlands) since 2007 where she directs the two-year MSc International Relations and Diplomacy program.

She has held visiting teaching positions at the University of Zürich, the Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva), Utrecht University College (UCU) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

She is author of The Euro: A Concise Introduction to European Monetary Integration (Lynne Rienner, 2005) and has published in various international peer-reviewed journals, including International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, the Review of International Organizations, European Journal of Political Research and the Journal of Common Market Studies.

She holds a Jean Monnet Chair Ad Personam and has coordinated the Multilateral Research Group "Decision-Making in the European Union Before and After Lisbon" (DEUBAL; Jean Monnet Programme, 2010-2012). In 2014-2015 she was the convener of the theme group "Explaining Decision-Making in the European Union: Insights from the Natural and the Social Sciences" (EUDINS) at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS) in Wassenaar.

Public lecture framed within the project "Understanding EU-UN Relations (EUN-NET)"