European Parliament Political Groups and European Integration

European political parties have been the object of keen interest in academic literature, as important actors in the European Community’s and subsequently in the European Union’s development. Up until recently, European political groups have not been the focus of comparable attention, although they have a distinctive role as part of the more complex organisational structures of European political parties.

To fill this gap, the Alcide De Gasperi research centre (ADGRC) coordinated a study on the European Pepole’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament (Bardi et al. 2020), which traces the group’s institutional, organisational and political trajectory in the EP, focusing on the period after the first direct elections in 1979. The research followed an interdisciplinary approach based on history, political science, and political sociology methods.

In collaboration with the EGPP, the ADGRC plans on extending this research to other groups of the European Parliament, for a better understanding of the European party system. To this end, funding from the EUI Research Council has been granted for the year 2022, to develop a research project on the Socialist Group in the European Parliament.

The partnership between the EGPP and the ADGRC will make use of the intellectual and organisational resources available at the EUI, while maintaining fruitful relationships with high-profile European universities and scholars. It will also result in the organization of joint seminars and other initiatives, starting from the presentation of the book ‘The European Ambition. The Group of the European People’s Party and European Integration’ (Nomos 2020) in the EGPP seminar series (April 2021).