Jocelyn A. J. Evans
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Europe and the French party system

This chapter considers the areas of divergence within parties and party blocs, the threat they posed to cohesion and the reasons for their recent disappearance. It also considers the array of institutional factors which have contributed to keeping the European issue latent within the party system. The chapter considers the extent to which possible changes to the institutional structure may in future promote party system change. Historically, the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) provides the greatest shift in the party system role and the European stance. Parties which oppose Europe are often in opposition to other aspects of the national political systems, anti-system or protest parties, and thus simply add Europe to the litany of complaints against the system. Philippe Séguin's resignation due to interference from an increasingly Europhile president and his Rassemblement pour la République (RPR) minions sealed the mass electoral defection to the Pasqua-de Villiers movement.

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