European Parliament elections in Finland and France in 1999
in Democracy, social resources and political power in the European Union
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This chapter argues that while European Parliament campaigns provide an opportunity for politicians and civil activists to engage in a dialogue that has multiple effects in the French political field, political agents reproduce national political culture and its in-built power relations. In Finland, a country that joined the European Union in 1995, the effects of European Parliament elections on domestic politics are significant. In contrast to other European Union countries that are divided into several regional districts for the elections to the European Parliament, France comprises one national electoral district. For the European elections of 1999, Jacques Chirac created his own list on a sovereignist platform. Apart from the electoral lists of social movements, which did not pass the 5 per cent threshold, the losers in these elections were the extreme right, the Communists and the Rassemblement pour la République-Démocratie libérale-Génération écologie list (RPR-DL-GE).

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