Political groups in the European Parliament since 1979: Key facts and figures

12-06-2019

This study seeks to fill a gap in research on the development of political groups, which have become a crucial component of the European Parliament. In fact, the creation of political groups can be traced back to a June 1953 decision of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Parliament’s forerunner, to allow members to establish three political groups – Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals – and thus begin the formation of supranational links among Members. The paper focuses on the period from the first direct elections, in 1979, to the end of the eighth parliamentary term, and includes data on group membership, on committee chairs by group, on political groups’ staffing and on the funding allocated to political groups and the linked European political foundations.

This study seeks to fill a gap in research on the development of political groups, which have become a crucial component of the European Parliament. In fact, the creation of political groups can be traced back to a June 1953 decision of the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Parliament’s forerunner, to allow members to establish three political groups – Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals – and thus begin the formation of supranational links among Members. The paper focuses on the period from the first direct elections, in 1979, to the end of the eighth parliamentary term, and includes data on group membership, on committee chairs by group, on political groups’ staffing and on the funding allocated to political groups and the linked European political foundations.