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The Greens in Brussels: Shaping or shaped?

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Publication details

JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
DatePublished - Oct 2006
Issue number1
Number of pages27
Pages (from-to)S99-S125
Original languageEnglish


The challenge for contemporary Green parties in government is to demonstrate both that they have not been completely de-radicalised, and that their presence in government can make a difference. Green party involvement in the European Union (EU) adds distinctive elements to this challenge. Does engagement in supranational decision making provide new opportunities for Green parties to exercise influence beyond borders? Or does it simply further exacerbate de-radicalisation tendencies? Focusing on the German and Finnish Green parties, this article explores the 'European dimension' of Green parties' governmental incumbency. Three sets of literature (Europeanisation, party change and EU policy making) are used to derive and test several hypotheses related to the impact of EU involvement on Green parties, and the impact of Green parties on EU policy making. It is argued that EU governmental engagement has accelerated Green party de-radicalisation both organisationally and programmatically, but the dynamics of this process are complex and surprisingly interactive as Greens also attempt to exercise influence over EU policy. The findings are relevant not just for those studying Green parties, but for those exploring wider questions of Europeanisation, party change and EU policy making.

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