Senninger, Roman & Daniel Bischof. “Working in Unison: Political Parties and Policy Issue Transfer in the Multi-Level Space.” European Union Politics: forthcoming.

In this study we examine whether and how policy issues addressed by political parties travel across the national and European legislative arena. We define `party policy issue transfer’ as the articulation of similar issues in the work of political parties at different parliamentary venues in short distance of time and argue that issues particularly transfer within the same party. This is mainly because of three reasons: exchange of information between parties across levels, national parties’ attempts to influence European Union (EU) policies and career incentives of representatives at the supranational level. Using unique data on parliamentary questions asked by Danish representatives (Folketing & European Parliament; 1999-2009) and a dyadic data structure we test our theoretical framework. Our results show that parties’ policy issues – in particular those where the EU holds legislative power – transfer across the national and European levels on a regular basis and that issues are more likely to travel within parties.

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Key findingWe show that issue attention across the national and European levels converges, especially within parties represented at both parliamentary levels. Yet, there is considerable variation in within party issue transfer across political issues: