RECON Online Working Paper 2009/16

Download paper 

Reconstituting Political Representation in the EU

The Analytical Framework and the Operationalisation of the RECON Models

Emmanuel Sigalas, Monika Mokre, Johannes Pollak, Jozef Bátora and Peter Slominski
(Institute for European Integration Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences)



In this paper the authors elaborate on the analytical framework linking the three RECON democracy models to political representation and claims-making during the European elections campaign. Relying on the models of delegated, federal and regional-cosmopolitan democracy as ideal-type, the authors develop a theoretical and operational framework that guides the empirical research on the prospects of parliamentary mode of representation at the EU level. It is argued that parliamentary representation will continue to play a role in the future, but the role of political parties at European level and the claims brought forward to mobilise the electorate will be different in each democracy model. In the case of a delegated EU democracy, the national political parties will dominate the European party federations and the EP election campaigns will be predominantly national in their scope. Equally, in a federal EU democracy the influence of the European level parties over their national member will be prominent and political claims will have a distinctively European outlook. In a non-statist, regional-cosmopolitan EU democracy parties and MEP candidates should address also matters of extra-European and of global concern, while the relationship between national and European level parties should be one of consensual agreement rather than of institutionalised hierarchy. The paper ends with the formulation of a series of testable hypotheses that will allow us to assess empirically the prospects for each EU democracy model.


Democracy – European Elections – European Parliament – Political Parties – Political Representation

Download the paper


All RECON online working papers