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Liberty - Security Dilemmas and Party Cohesion in the European Parliament

Parliaments
Security
European Union
Mihail Chiru
University of Oxford
Mihail Chiru
University of Oxford
Valentin Stoian
"Mihai Viteazul" National Intelligence Academy
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Abstract

This Paper argues that the increase in acts of international terrorism and the permanent revelations about extensive government surveillance have the potential to trigger a significant challenge to the cohesion of parties structured along traditional ideological divides. In the European Parliament this challenge can be even more severe given that European Party Group positions might at times contradict national party preferences due to specific national experiences with terrorism and the popularity of the demands for a new 'social contract' on surveillance. The study explores how do the ideological and organizational features of national parties and their governmental responsibilities influence the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) votes on surveillance policies. Moreover, we analyze the role of individual variables that could affect voting loyalty on such issues: the MEP's position in the legislative power structure, her relevant committee work, socialization experiences and level of electoral marginality. To do so we ran a series of multivariate regression models on an original dataset combining information on MEPs (Høyland et al 2009), national and European parties (Bakker et al 2015; Volkens et al 2015; Döring and Manow 2016) with data on 27 roll-call votes taken on two salient directives: Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated or processed in connection with the provision of publicly available electronic communications services and Directive 2016/681/EU on the use of passenger name record (PNR) data for the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorist offences.