The political system of the European Union

Project Managers: Göran von Sydow, Josefin Almer Wulff and Jakob Lewander

Apart from the constitutional development, the EU’s political system is constantly evolving. The political framework and decision-making structure interact with the political outcome. The aim of this project is to analyse political processes and institutional developments within the EU.

The financial crisis and developments within the Eurozone have put a large number of issues of importance to the EU’s political system on the agenda. One of the consequences of the financial crisis is that the EU’s political system, the institutional balance of power and the relationship between the members of the Eurozone and those outside the Eurozone have been affected. In this context, a report on the Nordic Member States’ European policy decisions during the crisis will be presented. New and not so new groups of Member States have an impact on influence and accountability. This dynamism and its repercussions will be highlighted. In addition, in 2014, the new voting rules will enter into force in the Council of Ministers. These new rules as well as the new rules for reversed qualified majority voting will be analysed.

The European Parliament elections will be held in May 2014. The elections will be analysed from a number of angles. During the spring of 2014, SIEPS will be involved in a European collaborative project which will focus on a number of important voting and political processes in the European Parliament during the current mandate period. This can be regarded as a deeper examination of the analysis of ten central votes in the European Parliament which was presented at the beginning of the autumn of 2013. The question of politicisation and the role of the political parties in this process will be highlighted in 2014. This, along with a number of other related issues, will be given a prominent role in the discussions in the run up to the European Parliament elections in May 2014.

A related theme is the issue of what the EU has to offer regarding different types of conflict resolution arenas. In this context, the role of the European Court of Justice is normally emphasised. A report on this will be written within the project in order to highlight the Court as a player and as an arena.