Logo Logo
Switch Language to German

Braun, Daniela and Schwarzbözl, Tobias (26. March 2018): Put in the spotlight or largely ignored? Emphasis on the Spitzenkandidaten by political parties in their online campaigns for European elections. In: Journal of European Public Policy

Full text not available from 'Open Access LMU'.


This article contributes to the debate about the introduction of the Spitzenkandidaten (lead candidates) in the 2014 European Parliament (EP) election. Focusing on parties’ efforts to make the candidates visible to voters, we argue that the multi-level character of these elections creates large differences concerning individual parties’ incentives to promote the Spitzenkandidaten in their campaigns. Analysing a novel dataset of campaign communication on Facebook, we find that only a few parties highlighted them, while many did not. In line with our theoretical argument, this variation is systematic and can be attributed to lacking incentives for most parties. Especially nominating a candidate at the European level only has a modest positive effect on national parties’ willingness to put the candidates in the spotlight. This lacking commitment to the nominated candidates should be considered in discussions about the reform of the current Spitzenkandidaten system for the 2019 EP elections.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item