New open access publication in “European Union Politics”

Claes de Vreese and I have published a new article on “The role of candidate evaluations in the 2014 European Parliament elections: Towards the personalization of voting behaviour?” in European Union Politics (online first).

In this article, we study the personalization of voting behaviour in European Parliament elections. We argue that information from the media is crucial for providing linkages between candidates and voters. Moreover, we contend that candidates can serve as information short-cuts given the complexity of European Union politics. We use a four-wave Dutch panel survey and a media study that enable us to link evaluations of lead candidates, party preferences, and vote choice to exposure to news about these candidates. We show, firstly, that exposure to candidate news is a strong explanatory factor for candidate recognition. Secondly, we find that candidate evaluations positively affect party choice, albeit mainly for those voters who tend to be politically aware. Our research has implications for debates about the European Union’s accountability deficit.

The motivation for our research was in part influenced by my VENI project on the personlization of EU politics (“Facing Europe“). The data collection was largely funded by the Amsterdam School of Communication Research as part of the 2014 European Parliament Election Campaign Study.

The article is accessible free of charge here.


EPS Best Article Prize 2016

My co-authors, Anna-Lena Högenauer and Ariella Huff, and I are very honoured that our article “Research note: Studying a new phase of Europeanisation of national parliaments” has been awarded the EPS Best Article Prize 2016. The article can be found on the website of European Political Science (here). The announcement and the jury’s verdict can be found here. The award will be presented at the ECPR General Confernce in Oslo on 7 September 2017.

Special Issue: How different were the European Elections of 2014?

Wouter van der Brug, Claes de Vreese and I publish a special issue in Politics and Governance on the question: “How different were the European Elections of 2014?”. This issue brings together 11 papers that focus on the question of whether and in which ways the 2014 European Parliament elections were different from previous ones. This is important from the point of view of emerging scholarship on changes in the EU and from the point of view of the self-proclaimed ‘This time it’s different!’ slogan from the European Parliament. The papers centre around three themes: 1) the role of the Spitzenkandidaten, 2) media and voters, and 3) electoral behaviour. The complete special issue is an open access publication and can be accessed and/or downloaded free of charge here:

Table of Contents

Introduction: How Different Were the European Elections of 2014? – Wouter van der Brug , Katjana Gattermann and Claes H. de Vreese

The Choice of Spitzenkandidaten: A Comparative Analysis of the Europarties’ Selection Procedures – Gert-Jan Put , Steven Van Hecke , Corey Cunningham and Wouter Wolfs

The Spitzenkandidaten in the European Parliament Election Campaign Coverage 2014 in Germany, France, and the United Kingdom – Heidi Schulze

Evaluations of the Spitzenkandidaten: The Role of Information and News Exposure in Citizens’ Preference Formation – Katjana Gattermann , Claes De Vreese and Wouter van der Brug

Debating Europe: Effects of the “Eurovision Debate” on EU Attitudes of Young German Voters and the Moderating Role Played by Political Involvement – Jürgen Maier , Berthold Rittberger and Thorsten Faas

Cross Road Elections: Change in EU Performance Evaluations during the European Parliament Elections 2014 – Claes de Vreese , Rachid Azrout and Judith Moeller

The Impact of the Explosion of EU News on Voter Choice in the 2014 EU Elections – Jan Kleinnijenhuis and Wouter van Atteveldt

Has Eurosceptic Mobilization Become More Contagious? Comparing the 2009 and 2014 EP Election Campaigns in The Netherlands and France – Maurits Meijers and Christian Rauh

Looking for the European Voter: Split-Ticket Voting in the Belgian Regional and European Elections of 2009 and 2014 – Camille Kelbel , Virginie Van Ingelgom and Soetkin Verhaegen

Voting at National versus European Elections: An Individual Level Test of the Second Order Paradigm for the 2014 European Parliament Elections – Hajo G. Boomgaarden , David Johann and Sylvia Kritzinger

Context Matters: Economic Voting in the 2009 and 2014 European Parliament Elections – Martin Okolikj and Stephen Quinlan

European Parliament Elections of May 2014: Driven by National Politics or EU Policy Making? – Hermann Schmitt and Ilke Toygür


New publication in “European Political Science”

My co-authors Anna-Lena Högenauer, Ariella Huff and I publish a new article, in which we propose studying a new trend of Europeanisation in national parliaments within the European Union (EU). We argue that further integration, combined with the opportunities and challenges presented by the Lisbon Treaty and the financial crisis, created pressure on national parliaments to expand the scrutiny process beyond European Affairs Committees. In this new phase of Europeanisation, parliaments are increasingly ‘mainstreaming’ EU affairs scrutiny, blurring the distinction between national and European policies and involving larger numbers of MPs. Following a review of existing research on the Europeanisation of national parliaments in the post-Lisbon era, we propose studying four dimensions of mainstreaming: the rising involvement of sectoral committees in European affairs; the adaptation of parliamentary staff to EU policy-making; the growing salience of European affairs in plenary debates; and increasing inter-parliamentary cooperation beyond European affairs specialists. We argue that this trend has significant implications for research that studies the roles of national parliaments in the democratic functioning of the EU.

Gattermann, K., Högenauer, A.-L. and Huff, A. (2015). Research note: Studying a new phase of Europeanisation of national parliamentsEuropean Political Science, advance online publication 16 October 2015; doi: 10.1057/eps.2015.56