“Spitzenkandidaten” in the 2014 European Parliament Election

Does Campaign Personalization Increase the Propensity to Turn Out?

Hermann Schmitt
Politics, University of Manchester and MZES, University of Mannheim
Sara B. Hobolt
European Institute, London School of Economics
Sebastian Adrian Popa
MZES, University of Mannheim

Paper prepared for presentation at the ECPR General Conference
to be convened at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, 3-6 September 2014

(draft September 1, 2014: 13245 words overall)

The 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections are considered a turning point in the history of the
European Union. For the first time is there a direct link between the vote in these elections and
the nomination of the President of the European Commission. Consequently, the major political
groups each nominated a lead candidate, or “Spitzenkandidat”, for the post. We postulate that
these developments towards personalization increased the visibility and the mobilization
potential of the EP election campaign, hence calling for a gradual revision of the classical second
order election model customarily used to analyse these elections. Based on 28 nationally
representative post-electoral survey data collected EU wide by the 2014 European Election Study
in co-operation with the European Parliament, we analyse whether and how the presence of the
lead candidates influenced the individual propensity to participate in these elections. We show
that recognition of the candidates leads to a higher propensity to turn out, even when controlling
for a host of other individual-level factors explaining turnout and the context factors known to
facilitate participation. Furthermore their campaign efforts (both online and offline) also had an
impact on the propensity to turn out both directly and by reinforcing the effect of recognition.




It was the motto of the European Parliament ahead of the 2014 election of its members: “This
time it’s different.” And the 2014 election indeed was different on at least two accounts. The first
was that it was held in times of a lasting public debt crisis in parts of the Union. Austerity
measures were imposed on the debtor countries by the Eurozone government (European
Commission and the relevant part of the European Council of Ministers) together with the
International Monetary Fund (quotes). The economic consequences – rocketing youth
unemployment for example – of these measures were severe. Whether these economic
turbulences have set the scene for a “critical election” (Key 1955) by fostering a lasting
realignment between citizens and voters on the one hand and political parties on the other, is
under investigation.
The other important difference of the 2014 election was that the member parties of the
major political groups of the European Parliament rallied behind a common lead candidate (or
Spitzenkandidat as these people have commonly been called using the German term). For the
first time in 35 years of a directly elected European Parliament, the extra-parliamentary party
organisation of five major political groups of the European Parliament nominated a lead
candidate during their respective party conventions (or by way of primaries) in order to support
their local campaigns—and offered EP voters a choice regarding the next President of the
European Commission. It was a common understanding during the campaign that the
predominant political camp would also win the presidency of the European Commission.
However, it must be noted that this link between the electoral result and the selection of the next
EC President while in accordance with Art 17 (7) of the Lisbon Treaty on European Union was
not commanded by it. It rather was as a gamble that the European Parliament played in order to


further “democratize” the EP elections and at the same time increase its power vis à vis the
Council. As could have been expected, the Council did not immediately consent with this new
selection procedure. Even if it was finally accepted the decision was not unanimous as it used to
be in the past. A few pockets of resistance (viz. the governments of the United Kingdom and
Hungary) could not be persuaded to support the Council’s nomination as Commission president
of Jean Clause Juncker, whose EPP had won the election by a comfortable margin.
Five of seven (or eight if we count the non-affiliated as a group) groups nominated a lead
candidate : EPP (Jean Claude Juncker), PES (Matin Schulz), ALDE (Guy Verhofstadt), the
Greens (Ska Keller and José Bové), and the Left (Alexis Tsipras). The two groups which did not
come along belong to the Euro-sceptical camp in the EP: the European Conservatives and
Reformists (ECR) in which the British Conservatives played a leading role, and Europe for
Freedom and Democracy (EFD) in which the British UKIP was the strongest force. In what
follows we will analyse whether and how these lead candidates affected the voting behaviour of
EU citizens in the 2014 European Parliament election. Based on survey data of the 2014
European Election Study we concentrate our attention on three most visible of the five lead
candidates (Juncker, Schulz and Verhofstadt), and restrict our curiosity to electoral participation
(and ignoring for now the question of party choice). Did the lead candidates increase the
propensity of citizens to turning out (as compared to a hypothetical situation in which they would
not have run)? This is the leading research question of this article.

2 The Emergence of a Parliamentary System in the EU
At the heart of the argument in favour of “Spitzenkandidaten” is the expectation that it will
strengthen executive accountability in the European Union. It is well known that thee EU is a


hybrid system with a mixture of parliamentary and presidential features. Its legislative power are
shared between the Council and the European Parliament, and it has a ‘dual executive’ where
national governments in the Council and European Council possess long-term executive power
and set the overall political and legislative agenda, whereas the EU Commission has the sole
right of legislative initiative. Yet, the EU has until recently lacked mechanisms for citizens to
hold the EU executive to account, or “to throw the rascals out” of executive office, through the
process of competitive elections. Unlike a presidential system, there are no direct elections
where citizens can elect the president of the Commission (or the Council). Unlike a
parliamentary system there is not even a strong indirect link between the party choice in
parliamentary elections and the executive, at least not until recently. Prior to the Maastricht
Treaty, the Commission President was chosen unanimously by the national governments. The
public therefore had no real way of influencing the election of the EU’s executive or hold it to
account for its actions.
During the early decades of European integration this was not regarded as a problem,
since democratic legitimacy rested solely, in an intergovernmental manner, on the national
governments in the Council. However, the pooling of sovereignty at the European level, the
move away from unanimity in the Council (meaning that individual governments could be
outvoted) and the end of the “permissive consensus” in the early 1990s put pressure on the EU to
establish a ‘European’ electoral dimension, where voters could be directly represented at the
European level, rather than only indirectly through their national governments. Strengthening the
powers of the European Parliament was at the core of these reforms. First, the Amsterdam and
Maastricht Treaties strengthened the legislative powers of the EP, gradually making it a genuine
co-legislature with the Council. Second, the Maastricht Treaty (1993) introduced a new


However.. they did not bring about the genuine electoral connection between voters and EU policy-making that was hoped for. The Amsterdam Treaty (1999) took matters further by requiring Parliament’s specific approval for the appointment of the Commission President. where a majority of voters stayed at home.“investiture procedure” where the Council must consult the European Parliament on their nominee for the Commission president and Parliament’s approval was required before the Member States could appoint the President and Members of the Commission as a collegiate body. Marsh 1998. van der Eijk and Franklin 1996).g. the elections continued to be “second-order national elections” (Reif and Schmitt 1980. prior to that of the other Commissioners. Due to their perceived insignificance. 1995. there was also evidence that the elections failed in providing a strong democratic mandate for policy-making at the European elections. or mobilize citizen interest in EP elections. This second-order nature of European elections have been attributed to the fact that citizens generally have little knowledge of policies implemented or promised at the European level by parties. despite the new powers of the European Parliament. While these reforms clearly strengthened the powers of the European Parliament vis-àvis the executive institutions in the European Union. they did little to strengthen the link between voters and the EU executive. and 5 . Schmitt 2005). Hix 1997). Lodge. European elections would really start to matter to citizens and this would bolster interest and turnout (e. The European Parliament had argued that in choosing the Commission President. Turnout to European Parliament elections continued to decline in successive elections from 62 per cent in 1979 to only 43 per cent in 2009. and others cast a vote in protest against national government or with their hearts without any regard to government formation (e.g. since parties and election campaigns focused largely on domestic matters. Hix and Marsh 2007. Parliament also introduced hearings of Commissioners-designate in 1994. Worryingly.

In between European elections. these elections have not been genuine contests between competing government alternatives and over incumbent performance records. This is not least owing to the fact that. European election campaigns have tended to focus on domestic political matters and be dominated by national political actors. and the candidate nominated by the winning party group would in turn be nominated by the Council and elected by the European 6 . 2007). the European Parliament is largely ignored by national media (Norris 2000. voters are generally unaware of this and Euro-parties have traditionally played a limited role in EP election campaigns. It is therefore unsurprising that citizens have limited knowledge of and interest in the European Parliament. the extent to which the national parties use these manifestos in their own campaigning has traditionally been minimal. unlike national parliamentary systems.parties themselves often use these elections as opportunities to test their standing with the public in terms of their domestic political agendas. This idea of Europarties nominating competing candidates was discussed already in the 1990s. 2006. 1998). While Euro-parties produce electoral manifestos. These problems led scholars and politicians alike to suggest constitutional innovations that could remedy the growing democratic deficit in the European Union. Peter and de Vreese 2004). The core idea was to inject real political and personalized choice into the EP election campaigns by having competing Commission President candidates with alternative political agendas nominated by Euro-parties. by scholars such as Simon Hix (see Hix 1997. However. Instead. despite the presence of traditional party politics at the European level. The legislative process in the European Parliament operates very much like in any national legislature with members belonging to EU-level political groups – such as the centre-right EuropeanPeople’s Party (EPP) and the centre-left Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) – that structure debate over and support for legislation and they decide vital political issues (Hix et al.

shall propose to the European Parliament a candidate for President of the Commission. acting by a qualified majority. This candidate shall be elected by the European Parliament by a majority of its component members. The wording of the treaty is ambiguous when it comes to the powers of the European Parliament to impose its own candidate. In the Lisbon Treaty the investiture procedure was revised to emphasize that the European Council should ‘take into account the elections’ before nominating and that the European Parliament subsequently ‘elects’ the Council nominee: Taking into account the elections to the European Parliament and after having held the appropriate consultations. These discussions about how to strengthen electoral accountability. As Hix noted optimistically in his 2008 book on What’s Wrong with the European Union and How to Fix It. in European Parliament elections also played a central role in the debates leading to the (failed) Constitutional Treaty and. there would be democratic politics in the EU for the first time” (Hix 2008: 164). such changes could lead to “public identification of the policy options on the EU table and the winners and losers in the EU. or 7 .Parliament to become the President of the Commission. acting by a qualified majority. In short. shall within one month propose a new candidate who shall be elected by the European Parliament following the same procedure. the European Council. (Article 17(7) TEU. the European Council. in turn. If he does not obtain the required majority. But the European Parliament seized upon the treaty change by deciding that the European political groups would nominate lead candidates. the Lisbon Treaty (2009). emphases added). and enhance public interest.

The first aim is to transform the nature of elections to the European Parliament by creating a genuine contest for the top executive job and a choice between alternative political platforms. for the post of European Commission president. which fully supported the move towards Spitzenkandidaten. Commission Recommendation of 12 March 2013 on enhancing the democratic and efficient conduct of the elections to the European Parliament (2013/142/EU) 2 8 . In a resolution agreed on 22 November 2012.Spitzenkandidaten. stresses the importance of reinforcing the political legitimacy of both Parliament and the Commission by connecting their respective elections more directly to the choice of the voters. and more generally the democratic legitimacy of EU policy-making. in particular by personally presenting their programme in all Member States of the Union. the politicisation of European issues should also allow voters to vote on the basis of issues that matter to EU policy1 European Parliament Resolution of 22 November 2012 on the elections to the European Parliament in 2014 (2012/2829(RSP)). the European Parliament presented its main argument: [The Parliament] urges the European political parties to nominate candidates for the Presidency of the Commission and expects those candidates to play a leading role in the parliamentary electoral campaign. The hope is that this would mobilize citizens to take greater interest in and participate in the elections in greater numbers. These institutional resolutions thus echo the message found in the academic literature concerning the key objectives of the reformed process of nominating and electing the Commission president.1 This message was reinforced by the European Commission. Secondly. arguing that this “would make concrete and visible the link between the individual vote of a citizen of the Union for a political party in the European elections and the candidate for President of the Commission supported by that party”2and thereby increase the legitimacy and accountability of the Commission.

By introducing its own candidate with the democratic legitimacy conveyed by the vote of Europe’s citizens the European Parliament put significant pressure on national governments to nominate the elected candidate to accept informally. Kriesi and Grande 2014. there may also be more prosaic inter-institutional reasons for introducing the Spitzenkandidaten. and to subsequently reward or punish them for the degree to the fulfilled this mandate. there were clearly significant challenges to overcome for the “Spitzenkandidaten” to have any real impact on the campaign and the elections. However. as it eventually happened (Schimmelfennig 2014. Hobolt 2014). Finally. for an opposite view Fuchs 2000 and more often). and thus to attract more voters to the polls and create a clearer democratic mandate for the European Commission. personalize the electoral campaign. In addition to these lofty democratic aims. strengthen electoral accountability in the EU: EP elections will also voters to provide the executive with a genuine democratic mandate. if not formally. this will also contribute to the legitimacy (so-called input legitimacy) of the European Union. where similar issues are being debated at the same time (see Koopmans and Statham 2010. Not least the fact that the European Union lacks a common public sphere with a common media. While the Parliament’s slogan that “this time is different” held plenty of promise. in time. the objective is that by increasing electoral accountability in EP elections. this paper will focus on the extent to which there is any evidence that the Spitzenkandidaten had the desired impact on the campaign and the vote. While recent studies have shown an increasing ‘parallelization’ of public spheres across Europe. this does not amount to a Europe-wide public debate on the elections akin to what we know from 9 . by raise the stakes of the vote. the Parliament’s right to appoint the EU’s executive. to discuss alternative political visions.making rather than treating the elections as a mid-term ‘beauty contest’ for national governments. or even a common language. This may.

g. however. Finally. Hence. According to the EU-Observer. they can give us some idea about the activities of the candidates. opposition parties in opposition to the national government) and even to deliberately disassociate themselves from the Spitzenkandidaten (as happened in the UK.other federal systems.5 million Euro (see http://euobserver. the Spitzenkandidaten did make efforts to run a distinctly European campaign. While the lead candidates had held important posts inside the EU and in their own member states. while the candidates were officially nominated by Euro-parties. the procedures adopted by the two major groups to nominate their candidates resulted in the nomination of two Brussels insiders. Although these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. For the European Parliament’s argument to be convincing. Moreover. the five candidates had a total budget of 4. European voters would also need to take notice of the competing candidates. they were largely unknown outside their country of origin before the start of the campaign. Spitzenkandidaten in the 2014 campaign Despite the challenges outlined above.com/euelections/124152). and they may have strong incentives to fight on domestic issues (e. and to a lesser degree in Italy). The lead candidates’ impact on national campaigns was therefore largely determined by the extent to which national party leaders and the national media involved the European candidates in their national campaign. it is still national parties that dominate the election campaigns. with both Schulz and Juncker disposing of a 10 . the effectiveness of the Spitzenkandidaten depended largely on the campaign itself. This is discussed in the next section. which quotes party sources. Juncker (former Luxembourgian Prime Minister and head of the Euro Group) and Schulz (President of the European Parliament) rather than politicians elected primarily for their broad electoral appeal.

the debate was carried out in German and broadcasted in Austria and Germany.049 non-voters). They were conducted in French. Martin Selmayr: "Our wives don't know us anymore. The poll was in the field on 25 and 26 of May on a sample base of 12. on Euronews and on selected national channels. It gained quite significant traction being watch by 330000 viewers in Austria (i. A further example of the debates is the of the 8th of May.". English and German. An important role was also played by the language in which the debate was carried out. Schulz and Juncker opposed one another. we don't know where our bed is.5 million Euro. 4 The survey was conducted by AMR GmbH Dusseldorf on behalf of the AECR. The most eye-catching initiatives were the nine televised debates between the ‘Presidential candidates’ that took place between 9 April and 20 May 2014. This is probably best summarised by a quote of the campaign chief of the Juncker campaign. 6% of the market share). while the other two candidates has substantially smaller amounts of money available3. and broadcast on the internet. Verhofstadt spending under 1 million. much more than other political talk shows in the two countries (cite the news article). 11 .132 respondents across 15 EU countries (6.e. 13% market share) and 1.4 Not surprisingly these debates generated the most interest in the “home countries” of the lead candidates: in Luxembourg (Juncker) and in Greece (Tsipras) where 36 and 26 per cent of respondents respectively reported to had watched one of the debates whereas only 6 per cent of Dutch and British citizens had seen any of the debates. In addition to the debate the candidates also had a substantial presence on the ground. A post-election survey of citizens in 15 EU countries reveals that 15 per cent of European citizens claim to have seen at least one of the TV debates (AECR 2014).budget of approximately 1.8 million people in German (i.083 voters and 6. And this seems to be true given the intensity of the campaign activity of the three most visible 3 This “funding hierarchy” also confirms that the three candidates we included in our surveys are the most visible and important of the five.e.

For example during the 15 May debate. Polish. Greek. while Verhofstadt had a more “modest” presence only had 29 visits in 12 countries. France. but this is not surprising considering that the before mentioned groups are the traditional base of the European Socialists. Netherlands and the UK and was mentioned in 110k tweets (http://www3. Second. In the two months prior to Election Day Schulz had 38 visits in 20 countries. Schulz had several events in which he directly addressed trade union members or factory workers. and probably more important. Portuguese. these meeting were most likely an attempt to secure the nomination. Ireland.candidates. or being present by the launching of national candidates. Juncker covered 17 countries and participated in 34 campaign visits (i. Belgium. having approximately 110k twitter 12 . It gained special transaction during around the time of the TV debate. Juncker had several meetings with the heads of national government and other important national and European political figures. Still the campaign of both Schulz and Juncker each had its specificity. Furthermore. Greece.e. ”#TellEUROPE” was trending in Austria. especially bearing in mind the somewhat ambiguous text of the Lisbon treaty.html). All in all Schulz was the most active in the online environment. these numbers do not take into account that in some cases they visited several cities or attended several campaign events in the same day (see Appendix 2 for a complete description of the campaign events). days spent in the country). participating at large campaign gatherings. When we take into account that he was the favourite to ensure the nomination as President of the European Commission. Most of these were classical campaigning events such as meeting party activists and party supporters. Germany. First.ebu.ch/contents/news/2014/05/ebu-makes-history-with-the-eurov. Finish and Latvian. Prime ministers and the ex PMs of France. For example he had private meeting with the German. Last but not least the on-line campaign of the Spitzenkandidaten was not negligible. Germany and Malta.

Juncker. Participation levels in European Parliament elections started out at a low level in 1979.5 Individual level studies of electoral participation in European Parliament elections Individual level analyses of electoral participation as a dependent variable is a difficult task to address. this over-reporting is only a problem if those who falsely claim to have voted are indeed different from the true voters. i. true and false. Verhofstadt also had a remarkable presence with 26k followers and 105k mentions in the same period. was the last active twitter user as he is not even among the top ten most “popular” European leaders. and turned even lower over time. Britain is a good example here. A number of studies has revealed that indeed the true and the false voters are pretty much of the same kind so that at least for the study of the determinants of electoral participation the phenomenon of over-reporting does not constitute a major problem (e. Rosenstone and Hansen 1993. 13 .tnsglobal. in countries where electoral registers are held. Probably the most surprising is the fact the favourite. If we want to understand the determinants of abstention and voting.g. Cassel 2003. 2001). We can differentiate between these two classes of voters. but also some of the Scandinavian countries and the US. The problem is the notorious over-reporting of survey respondents who claim to have participated while in fact they did not. As a consequence. for a question mark Bernstein et al.6 Aggregate statistics speak a very clear language: the proportion of respondent in representative surveys who claim to have participated in an election while they did not is between 10 and 20 percent higher than the official participation rate as reported by the national statistical offices (and further down the line by Eurostat).e. http://www.com/what-we-do/european-leaderwatch 6 The most frequently cited is social desirability.followers and almost 250k mentions during the two months before the elections. individual-level analyses of EP electoral 5 The source of these number is the TNS leader watch available at.

However. and the second is that Euro-skepticism is not a convincing explanation since in membercountries where a significant Euro-skeptical voter segment existed in the electorate. the Swedish June list. or the British UKIP. the tenor of the analyses of individual level participation seems to point in a different direction.participation have concentrated on the meaning of non-voting. What is cause and what is effect is the critical question here or in other words: which variable is causally prior to which other variable in the model. But there are also a number of scholarly pieces of research pointing in this direction (Blondel et al. The “new East” of the European Union (from 2004 on) has a number of additional examples on offer. In line with the second-order elections model. the authors here expect deficient mobilization to be the main factor explaining non-voting. and can additional (control) variables therefore be ignored?7 7 This will be an important issue in the next section when we discuss our extensive set of control variables that we employ in order to strengthen the validity of our central regression results. Obvious examples here are the Danish Folkebevaegelsen. Indeed. and more in particular whether electoral abstention is indicative of critical or even hostile attitudes on the side of non-voters about European integration in general. and/or the institutions and policies of the European Union in particular. Results of individual level participation analyses obviously depend essentially upon the causal structure that the analyst imposes on the data he or she analyses. 14 . political entrepreneurs in general did not fail to compete for these votes and represent them in the European Parliament (as members of one or the other Euro-skeptical group of the house). for at least two reasons: the first one is that campaign efforts of the competing parties in the past notoriously turned out to be shallow. Evans & Ivaldi 2012). the most popular view expressed in the media is that Euroskepticism is a major driving force behind Euro-election abstentions (a recent example is The Guardian of 19 May 2014). Steinbrecher & Rattinger 2012. 1998.

We expect that in countries where the campaign efforts of the Spitzenkandidaten are stronger individuals are more like to report casting a vote (H1. we expect that the Spitzenkandidaten contributed to electoral mobilization and help to raise turnout (H1). This is not to say that Euro-skepticism nowhere did play a role for shaping turnout in the past. The first is personalization: the addition of European faces and voices to the campaign is expected to increase mobilization and contribute to an increase in turnout (cites). van der Eijk & Schmitt 2009). On the other hand. 2008. 2007.2.). Joslyn 15 . Furthermore. the campaign activities and the subsequent media coverage they receive are likely to reaffirm the importance of the Spitzenkandidaten for the individuals who are able to recognise them and thus reinforce the effect of personalization. a number of European Election Study based analyses of the determinants of individual electoral participation have been elaborated in the past which all tend to support the mobilization hypothesis (Schmitt & Mannheimer 1991. Schmitt & van der Eijk 2003. But so far. 2002. we anticipate that the mechanism one and two have an additive interactive effect: personalization and campaigning should reinforce one another. There are several mechanisms through which the Spitzenkandidaten can increase mobilization.1).Considering those concerns. On the one hand. previous research has shown that candidate’s visits are more effective for individuals that have at least some basic previous knowledge of them (Fowler et al. the main story goes in the opposite direction: the main determinant of electoral participation has been shown to be mobilization rather than citizens’ attitudes about the EU. or never will become an important co-determinant of non-voting. Upon that background. The second mechanism consists of the actual campaigning efforts of the lead candidates. Therefore we expect that those who are able to recognize the Spitzenkandidaten benefited from their mobilization potential and hence have a higher propensity to turnout (H1.

Any campaign activity benefits from public attention. All in all. This study continues the EES tradition of post European Parliament election surveys which started in 1989 (and actually in 1979 with an addition to the Eurobarometer at the time). King and Morehouse. 2005). Last but not least the mobilization potential of the lead candidates can be also dependent on “external” factors. The most obvious one that comes to mind is the strength of the local member party of his EP party group in a given country. The stronger the national party is that supports the lead candidate. this study was commissioned in collaboration with the Public Opinion Monitoring Unit of the European Parliament. We therefore expect that the effect of campaigning on turnout is stronger the larger the local party of a candidate is (H2).3).100 8 Lead by the Volkswagen Foundation and supported in addition by the Mercator Foundation. the Swedish Rijksbank Foundation. The EES part of the study was funded by a consortium of private foundations8 and benefited in addition from the generous support of TNS Opinion. we expect that the effect of candidate recognition is stronger in countries where the candidates campaigned (H1. Data and methods The present paper is the first that uses the European Election Study (EES) 2014 Voter Study. This is a nationally representative post-election survey that was realised in each of the 28 member countries of the EU. 16 .and Ceccoli 1996. It is worth mentioning that for the first time in the history of EES. The data collection was carried out by TNS Opinion in collaboration with its local partners between 30 May and 27 June 2014 (it started five days after the European Parliament elections and lasted for four weeks). The sample is representative at the country level and it consists of roughly 1. and the Portuguese Gulbenkian Foundation. the more attention there is.

some people in [OUR COUNTRY] did not vote in these elections”). All the interviews were carried out face to face (by way of Computer Assisted Personal Interviews.and partyplacements. One of the main innovations of the 2014 study consists in a battery inquiring about respondents’ recognition of the Spitzenkandidaten. the survey consists of approximately 60 question units. the respondents where offered four response options and thus not only the three that applied to one 9 The exceptions are: Malta. of which 338 interviews were conducted in Northern Ireland. therefore allowing for a direct comparison between expert placements of political parties and self-placements of voters11. This requires respondents to identify which EP party group or which national party supports the nomination of the three most important candidates: Jean-Claude Juncker. the total sample size being 300649. Although the question is not in an ideal open-end format.pdf 17 . Martin Schulz and Guy Verhofstadt. A second innovation is a focus on the effects of the economic crisis. summing up to a total of 220 items. media use items. Cyprus and Luxembourg where only approximately 550 respondents were interviewed. and so on.net/voter-study-2014/ 11 The master questionnaire in both English and French is available at the following link: eeshomepage. including traditional items such as left-right and pro-anti EU self. The core of the questionnaire is similar to the EES 2009 Voter Study. The main instrument which we use to measure the mobilizing potential of the Spitzenkandidaten (i. the personalization of the campaign) is a “name-party” recognition battery.e. a “most important issue” battery. a PTV battery. Furthermore in Germany the sample was 1648 (consisting of two representative samples for West and East Germany) and the United Kingdom where the sample was 1442.respondents in each EU member country. 10 More details regarding the study can be found at http://eeshomepage. The dependent variable of this paper is measured by a standard self-reported turnout variable that also includes a memory cue (the date of the elections) and a “face saving” statement (“For one reason or another.net/wpcontent/uploads/2014/05/Master-Questionnaire. or CAPI)10. The third and not the last is that this study uses issue questions that will also be used in the Chapel Hill Expert Survey 2014. Excluding demographics.

thus appropriately capturing the mobilisation potential of the three candidates. only the name of the EP group was provided. in Germany by mentioning the SPD). In addition to candidate recognition we also employ a host of control variables as they are customarily used to explain the propensity of turnout. Given the distribution of the variable (see Appendix 1) and the limited campaign time.of the candidates but also a fourth and false one: “Socialists & Democrat (S&D)” (identified e. “Liberals and Allies Group (ALDE)” (identified in German by the FDP) and finally “The Greens” (identified in Germany by Die Grünen)12. 18 . level of political discussion. in order to discourage guessing. measured as the share of the votes which the respective party gained in the 2014 EP election. In operational terms we rely on the offline campaign activity of the candidates indicated by the number of campaign visits of each candidate per member country. These variables are generally considered as proxies for political mobilisation (Gerber and Green 2000. We expect this effect to be moderated by the strength of the candidates’ local party (i. All in all. “European People's Party (EPP)” (identified in Germany by the CDU/CSU). the “Don’t know” option was also offered. Furthermore. Rosenstone 12 In countries where two or more parties were expected to join an EP group.e. In countries where there was no party supporting one of the four EP groups. campaign involvement and contact by a party) and general political engagement (interest in politics. we chose to use a dummy variable that takes the value 1 if the candidate visited the country and 0 otherwise. partisanship. The first group assembles variables measuring campaign engagement (i. internal political efficacy. In addition to measuring the mobilisation through personalization we also take into account possible macro level effects. exposure to the campaign. the biggest party was mentioned. and news consumption). the battery does not only measure the familiarity with the Spitzenkandidaten but it also tests the ability of respondents to associate them with a specific party. the local member party in the EP group) in the respective country.g.e. The correct answer was therefore neither a trivial one nor easy to guess.

19 . lead to a higher propensity to recognise the Spitzenkandidaten (i. The third and last factor here is the perceived performance of the economy both at the socio-tropic and pocket-book level. Rosenstone and Hansen 1993. Verba and Nie 1972. The final group of individual level factors for which we control are three attitudinal constructs. reverse causality). Verba et al. 1995). A second group of factor is represented by social background variables that are indicative for social integration and individual resources.and Hansen 1993. both of which are known to be strong predictors of turnout. rural vs. 2001. However these indicators also allow to control for the possible endogeneity between candidate recognition and propensity to vote. However. operationalised by trust in the national parliament. individuals start looking for all the relevant information that would help them in making the best choice (Downs 1957) and this could. To be more specific one might claim that once the decision to vote is taken. They include union membership. church attendance. education. but also age. 1995. Verba et al. The second is the legitimacy of European integration measured by trust in EU institutions and evaluation of EU membership. Verba et al. urban residence. and internet use. in turn. Historically these were among the first factors used to explain individual turnout (Tingsten 1937. Zuckerman et al. employment status. 1995). as soon as we control for the level of political engagement of respondents we reduce the possibility that the relation between recognition and propensity to vote is a result of previous knowledge or of information acquired during the electoral campaign.e. marital status. The first is the legitimacy of the electoral process. Thus we can safely assume that any effect that candidate recognition might have on the propensity to vote is a result of the “mobilizing effect” of the Spitzenkandidaten. immigrant status. 2007) and individual resources (Burns et al. gender.

Schmitt 2005. In Belgium and the UK. and the British and Northern Irish one in the UK case. Controlling for any of the three yielded a very similar pattern of results (i. using the lme4 package version 1. the level of GDP per capita. Therefore our N at the second lever is 30 and not 28. whether other elections took place at the same time as the EP elections. 20 .g. Franklin and Hobolt 2011. and turnout in the previous national elections are highly correlated. We would like to point out that all independent variables where rescaled to have values between a theoretical minimum of 0 and a theoretical maximum of 1. Empirical Analysis 13 It is worth mentioning that post-communism. The analysis is conducted in R. Second we make use of a series of multilevel logistic regression models to present the mobilisation effects of the Spitzenkandidaten on the propensity to vote in the 2014 EP elections. In order to test our hypothesis we proceed in two steps. there are effectively two party systems in operation: the Wallon and the Flemish in the Belgian case. Wessels and Franklin 2009). all being factors that were shown in previous studies to have a strong influence on turnout in EP elections (e.At the macro level we control for compulsory voting. First we present country level descriptives and illustrate the aggregate relation between turnout and the mobilisation efforts of the candidates.1-7. thus allowing for a straightforward comparison of their effects (see Appendix 1 for a complete description of all variables). We use random intercepts and random slops for the variables measuring candidate recognition and grand mean centering for aggregate level variables (Enders & Tofighi 2007). the significance levels for the effects of interest were the same).e. and post-communist past of the country13. It is important to mention that our unit of analysis at the second level is party systems rather than countries.

[Table 1 around here] Although the motto for the current European elections was “This time it’s different”. These numbers are even lower for the candidate of the weakest of the three political groups that we consider. Between 2009 and 2014. Of course there are significant country differences as the candidates are better known in their countries of origin and the neighbouring ones. Furthermore.4% compared to 2. which is still extremely low when compared to the turnout registered in first order national elections. the Liberal Guy Verhofstadt who was only recognised by 9 % of all respondents. in ten of the 28 countries we even notice an increase in turnout. In far away countries such as the Czech Republic or the UK. if we compare this number elections with the turnout at previous the EP election. However. More remarkable though are their campaigning efforts as between the 21 .We start by presenting some descriptive statistics showing turnout levels in the 2014 EP elections and the country-specific campaign of the Spitzenkandidaten (recognition and campaign activity). Turning to the campaign effects of the candidates. at a first glance this was not reflected by the 42. only around 5% of respondents were able to correctly identify them. the overall EU turnout only dropped by only 0. 19 % of our respondents recognised Juncker and 17% of them recognised Schulz. we realise that the proportion of citizens who recognised the candidates is not too impressive.5% overall turnout level.6% from 2004 to 2009 and 4% from 1999 to 2004. we notice something like a stand-still in 2014. The notorious turnout decline from 1979 seems to have come to an end.

Hungary. 22 . We find that the turnout difference goes in a positive direction in member countries where the candidates have visited and where the proportion of respondents recognizing them was higher. and therefore in the turnout difference between 2009 and 2014. A quick inspection 14 The only countries not visited by either of the candidates were: Estonia. We are interested in whether the lead candidates made a difference “this time”. Lithuania and Great Britain. [Table 3 around here] In Table 3 we present a series of multilevel models that test the potential mobilizing effects of the Spitzenkandidaten. however. we notice that the campaign characteristics of the three lead candidates all point in the same direction. However. these aggregate level associations are only suggestive of possible campaign effects on the individual-level propensity to vote. Given the general direction of these associations. [Table 2 around here] A first glimpse into how campaign mobilisation (measured as recognition and campaign activities) links to turnout is presented in Table 2. Model 1 serves mostly as a reference model because it includes all the relevant variables except for the recognition and the number of visits. there is not a single statistically significant relation between turnout change and the above mentioned variables.three of them they managed to cover 24 of the 28 EU countries14 in a period of just two months before Election Day. At the aggregate level. Needless to say. we are looking forward to the findings of the individual level analysis.

but given the multicoliniarity between candidate recognition (the correlation between the recognition of Schulz and Juncker is 0. we chose to investigate these effects separately for each candidate. A possible explanation is that he is the least relevant of the three candidates (regarding the race for EC presidency) and had practically no chance to be nominated. In the case of Schulz we note that recognizing him increases the likelihood of casting a vote by 35%. In the case of Verhofstadt the size of the effect is much smaller and did not reach the conventional levels of statistical significance.61) and campaign visits. Everything else being equal15 this corresponds to an increase of 7% (from 32% to 39%) in the predicted probability that respondents who recognized him went on and cast a vote. And we are confident that this is not an 15 All predicted probabilities were computed using simulations based on the normal distribution of coefficients. Not only do they go in the expected directions.5% compared to 0. measured as recognition. All in all. Recognizing him therefore did very little to boost the interest in the EP elections and thus to mobilise individuals to vote. while keeping all continuous variables at their mean and all categorical variables at zero.of this model shows that there are no effects that go against previous findings.4% for those who did not recognise him. First we looked into the effect of recognition and noted that these effects only reach statistical significance in the case of Schulz and Juncker. What needs to be noted is that all subsequent models have a better fit than Model 1. these effects are also quite substantive (and comparable to the effects of most sociodemographics variables as well as the effects of some of the variables measuring political engagement such as political knowledge and contact by party during the campaign). Although slightly smaller. had a substantial effect on the individual’s propensity to vote. The predicted probability that they cast a vote is 0. 23 . the effects are similar for those who recognised Juncker. Model 2 examines the mobilizing effect of all candidates. the mobilizing effect of the Spitzenkandidaten.

In what follows we look at how the offline campaign efforts of the candidates (i. As we control for political engagement (both general and campaign specific) it is much more likely that recognition actually measures mobilisation and not a facet of political engagement that was not covered by one of the several indicators we use to measure this concept16.e. Finally. Again. whether they campaigned or not in a country) had an impact on turnout. These results reflect to a certain degree the campaign intensity of the candidates. In the case of Verhofstadt (Model 5).endogenous effect. given the rather small proportion of respondents who actually recognised Schulz and Juncker. we need to acknowledge that the impact of their visits on the overall turnout is bound to be rather small. 24 . and to mobilize turnout. If in the previous section we focused on a rather indirect measure of campaign mobilisation. i. Our basic expectation is that through their campaign visits (an event we can safely assume was covered by national media) candidates managed to raise interest in and awareness of the forthcoming European Parliament election. the predicted probability of a respondent living in a country that he campaigned is 47% compared to 39% for those living in other countries. Schulz (Model 4) and Verhofstadt (Model 5). The strongest effect can be noticed in the case of Martin Schulz who had the highest number of campaign events (see Table 1) and covered by far the largest number of 16 Among other indicators our models take into account political knowledge and political interest that are the most likely “suspects”. name recognition. the effect is slightly smaller. Everything else being equal.e. the predicted probability to vote for respondents who live in a country in which Schulz campaigned is 45% compared to a baseline predicted probability of 32% for those who live in another country. we only record a statistically significant effect in the case of two of our three candidates. In both cases the effects are substantial ones.

The magnitude of the effects is lower for Verhofstadt (Figure 2) as individuals residing in countries that he visited and were able to recognise him as the ALDE nominee.3). and 20% more likely to vote when compared to people residing in countries where Schulz did not campaign. For the sake of simplicity we chose to only show the combined models. were only about 10% more likely to vote than all other groups. 25 . 17 Models excluding the support of the EP party group and its interaction with campaign visits yielded almost identical results. 18 One should note that overlapping confidence intervals when plotting interaction effects are not necessarily suggesting a lack of statistical significance. we expected that they would reinforce one another (H1. A test of this hypothesis is presented in Table 3. Figures 1 and 2 support our understanding of these interaction effects. In the case of Schulz (Figure 1) such a person on average is 10% more likely to vote compared to people who reside in a country that Schulz visited but who were unable to recognise him as the S&D nominee. The lack of an interactive effect in the case of Juncker is not surprising given that we did not find any effect of his campaign visits on turnout17. [Figure 1 and 2 around here]18 As expected the highest propensity to vote is recorded in the case of those citizens who recognised the candidates and resided in a country in which they campaigned. Confidence intervals that do not overlap are only a sufficient but not necessary condition for statistical significance. the separate models are documented in Appendix 3. We note that the interaction reaches statistical significance only in the case of Schulz (Model 7) and Verhofstadt (Model 8). In addition to their main effects we expected these two facets of mobilisation to have a cumulative effect. More specifically. Models 6 to 8.countries/political regions (21 in comparison Juncker who covered 18 and Verhofstadt who covered only 14).

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7 -23.79 -3.48% 4.25% 1.01% 9 11 8 8.83% 71.19% 13.63% 1 1 1 Croatia 25.37% 49.84% 38.00 % 24.42% 11.64% 90.97 -0.50% 1 1 1 34. country level descriptives.54 -3.42% 3 5 3 Germany 48.47% 7.24% 87.35% 1 3 1 Sweden UK Wallonia EU mean 51.34% 0 1 0 13.57% 74.6% 17.73% 9.4% 45.77 -3.03% 12.94% 10.53 6.92% 5.34% 61.24% 2.48% 45.7 5.37 -3.56% 23.97% 16.49% 14.11% 1 0 1 Slovenia 24.71% 1 2 1 Latvia 30.39 -0.15% 80.67% Romania 32.7% 84.53 34.94% 10.18% 17.67% 15.07% 35.22% 65.83% 75.05% 13.02% 59.1% 43.24% 20.23% 12.97% 59.83% 24.54% 5.56% 36.20% 20.32% 3.16% 0 0 0 Ireland 52.17% 4.2% 70.72% 77.43% 40.77% 41.4 -15.97% 36.82% 65.26% 8.92% 0 1 0 Spain 43.06% 68.36% 62.90% 39.81% 44.67 4.23% 0 1 0 Estonia 36.76% 2 0 2 Hungary 28.95% 34.75% 2 0 2 Lithuania 47.41% 5.27 4.52% 43.91% 43.58% 74.38% 63.84* 4.48% 5.7% 48.15% 1 1 0 Italy 57.97% 52.44% 58.12% 0 0 0 Finland 41% 38.82% 4.91% 0 0 5 * turnout level in the 2013 EP elections.39% 45.42% 11.58% 4.Table 1: Election turnout and candidate recognition.55% 52.66% 2 0 2 18.2% 28.94% 2 1 2 27.37% 25.58% 18.20% 4.78% 0 0 5 43.69% 4.4% 2.21% 91.47% 2.45% 31.47% 67.74% 17.08% 5.43% 78.65% 66.93% 5.87% 1 0 3 42.32% 36.64% 3.36% 9.58% 9.91% 23.16% 67.32% 5.46 4 2 4 Bulgaria 35.03% 1.6 2.48% 16.63% 4.61 7.40% 0 1 0 Denmark 56. ** unweighted figures 32 .55% 90.49% 13.69% 6.99% 92.73% 23.05% 19.15% 9.8% 78.11% 0 0 0 Luxembourg 85.47% 21.4% 67.64 -6.1% 58.9 -7.2% 0 0 0 Great Britain Greece 59.87 -1.63 1.76 -5.00% 3.22 -10.15% 1 1 1 Portugal 33.31 -7.53% 20.11% 6.24% 11.7% 17.77% 15.05% 1 1 1 Malta 74.67% 2.84% 8.46% 59.24% 53.55% 28.48% 4. Turnout in the 2014 EP elections Turnout in the 2009 EP elections Difference in turnout (EP2014EP2009) Turnout in the previous legislative elections Austria 45.40% 54.64 -6.1% 21.63% 65.80% 1 1 1 Belgium 89.17% 12.28% 3 5 3 Country Flanders Candidate recognition ** Verhofsta Juncker Schulz dt Number of campaign visits Verho Juncker Schulz fstadt France 42.55% 63.55 69.73% 0 1 0 Poland 23.17% 11.04% 58.75 0.5% 5.84% 18.59% 59.82% 8.23% 1 1 1 Netherlands Northern Ireland 37.69% 3.34% 3.45% 17.17% 2.54% 8.15% 11.00 % 13.98 26.58% 6.76% 5.8% 57.08% 0 1 0 Cyprus Czech Republic 43.79% 5.40% 26.99 -3.09 25.44% Slovakia -0.3% 59.87% 25.16% 2 0 2 10.15% 52.93% 8.97% 10.54% 0.75% 89.53% 4.44% 16.05 -7.

00 .64 .55 .19 -.03 .10 .01 .00 .44 .01 .64 .59 .62 .00 — .55 .00 .95 .Table 2: Country level correlations.40 -.01 .29 — .01 — .00 .00 .20 .57 .32 -.99 .00 .00 .16 -.01 .08 .00 .00 .00 .26 -.50 .58 .01 .00 .00 .00 — .00 — .13 .99 .58 .56 . n=28 in all analyses.05 . TD Turnout difference 2009-2014 (TD) recognition Juncker (RJ) recognition Schulz (RS) recognition Verhofstadt (RV) recognition all (RA) # visits Juncker (VJ) # visits Schulz (VS) # visits Verhofstadt (VV) # visits all (VA) RJ RS RV RA VJ VS VV VA — -.17 .00 .02 .00 .64 .48 .40 -.27 .00 — .00 — .89 .94 .00 — Note: first line in each cell is the Pearson correlation coefficient.05 .47 .87 . second line is the significance (one tailed).38 .87 . 33 .89 .47 .98 .44 .11 .43 -.

036) (0.144 (0.119 (0.041) 0.088*** (0.122* (0.060) (0.036) -0.018 1.036) secondary education tertiary education age female unemployed rural religious -0.115 (0.290) Model 5: Verhofstadt Fixed effects Intercept recognition Juncker 0.047 0.296*** (0.339) 4.039) (0.036) (0.119 (0.156 (0.640*** 0.121*** (0.052) (0.220) (0.020 -0.281) 34 0.088** (0.037 0.035) (0.143*** 1.232) -0.214*** 0.046) (0.460*** 0.572*** (0.366** (0.091) 0.210*** 0.141 (0.870*** (0.290) 0.858*** (0.181) 0.008 1.078) 0.036) (0.136** (0.143*** (0.380) 0.745*** 0.873*** (0.043 0.054 0.911*** (0.083** (0.315*** (0.021 1.296*** (0.060) (0.130* (0.083** (0.054) trust national parliament 0.065 (0.234*** (0.(0.090) 0.288*** (0.035) (0.108) 0.108) 0.055*** (0.243*** (0.126** (0.122 (0.048) immigrant internet use Political knowledge interest in politics exposure to campaign 4.084** (0.072) 0.298*** (0.565*** (0.091) 0.040) -0.483*** (0.090** (0.064*** (0.885*** (0.108) 0.299) 0.448*** 0.316*** 0.548** (0.055) 1.110) (0.885*** (0.072) 0.915*** (0.055) 1.039) (0.085** (0.060) 0.(0.039) 0.061) 0.797*** (0.041) trust EU institutions .046) -0.066) (0.295*** (0.747*** 0.050 0.132* (0.060) (0.068) .015 (0.123 (0.048) -0.040) 0.039) 3.039) 0.145*** (0.128) 3.109) (0.091) 0.066) (0.299*** (0.503*** 0.131*** -0.337) 0.117) (0.041) 0.036) (0.069) (0.035) news consumption campaign involvement contact by party 0.060) (0.049 0. main effects Model 1: Without the candidates Model 2: All candidates Model 3: Juncker Model 4: Schulz 4.055 0.048) -1.039) 0.872*** (0.039) EU membership 0.010 (0.738*** 0.072) political efficacy partisanship 3.116) (0.580*** (0.052) (0.121 (0.320*** 0.417*** 0.234*** (0.Table 3: Effect of candidate recognition and campaigning on turnout.441*** 0.955*** (0.587*** 0.209 (0.279 (0.078) 0.085** (0.140*** (0.338) 0.651*** (0.868*** (0.018 1.068) (0.069) (0.060) political discussion 0.197) 0.061) union member 0.069) (0.600*** 0.108* (0.061) (0.073) (0.078) .(0.322) 0.035) 0.(0.136** (0.055) 1.363) 0.129) 3.041) 0.060) (0.911*** (0.040) 0.110) (0.039) retrospective economic evaluation economic situation (personal) Compulsory voting concurrent ntl election Post-communism candidate nationality Verhofstadt campaign visits Schulz campaign visits 0.(0.129** 0.082** (0.807*** (0.140*** 1.038 0.435) 0.040) 0.272) 4.232) -0.046) (0.888*** (0.052) (0.041 (0.078) 0.066) (0.137** (0.179*** 0.008 1.128) 0.268) -0.082** (0.298*** -0.043 0.242*** (0.283) -0.235 (0.301*** (0.061) (0.896*** (0.061) -4.318) 0.568*** (0.131** (0.442*** (0.116) (0.148*** -0.234) 0.068) (0.145*** -0.135*** -0.517*** 0.060) (0.113*** (0.289*** .128) 0.036) 0.117) (0.238) -0.210) -0.020 -0.036) -0.036) (0.113* (0.108) 0.066) (0.061) -0.109*** (0.035) (0.054) 1.071) recognition Schulz recognition Verhofstadt married 0.574*** (0.090 (0.650** (0.035) 0.054) 1.334 (0.051 0.731*** 0.091) 0.108) 0.026 (0.039) 0.090) 0.078) 0.109) (0.036 (0.072) 3.117) 1.323*** 0.043 0.303*** (0.755*** 0.215) .349) 0.034) (0.055) 1.039) (0.128) 0.041) 0.244) .124*** (0.048) 0.294*** (0.416*** 0.052) (0.055) 1.634*** 0.211*** (0.035) 0.068) 0.025 -0.137* (0.111*** (0.210*** (0.264) -0.567 (0.129** (0.126* (0.150*** -0.318*** (0.091) 0.234) -0.087** (0.055) 0.040 (0.034) (0.209*** (0.048) 1.(0.309 (0.046) (0.044 0.046) -0.468*** 0.021 (0.110) (0.060) 1.035) 0.412*** 0.055) 1.133** (0.040) .647*** 0.066) 0.052) (0.060) 0.596*** 0.242) -0.116* (0.036) (0.

0. denotes p<0.013 (0.270 recognition Juncker recognition Schulz recognition Verhofstadt 0.223) 0.66 -11.586 30 Log Likelihood AIC -11.048 0.211) -0.97 22.827.86 22.05.365.586 30 -11.046 0.586 30 0.025 0.028 0.076 (0.01 35 0.73 .250 23.382.352.302 0.87 22.74 ** denotes p<0.Juncker campaign visits Random effects (variance) Intercept 0.21 22.775.336 0.83 22.43 -11.800.249 23.94 -11.248 23.250 23.1 .248 23.268 *** denotes p<0.325 0.586 30 0.813.346.785.371.586 30 0.324 0.086 Residual N (individual) N (region) 0.

046) (0.047) (0.344.303) -4.036) 0.061) (0.27 .297*** (0.048) (0.120) (0.135** (0.116) (0.495*** 0.514) -0.055) 1.079) -0.924 (1.327*** 0.137** (0.364.05.039) (0.132* -4.041) 0.299*** (0.784*** (0.070) (0.047 0.056) 1.068) (0.078) 0.265) 0.730*** 0.149*** -1.635*** 0.698*** 0.108) 0.168) (1.111*** (0.050) (0.060) campaign involvement contact by politician 1.035) (0.248 (1.049 (0.101) 0.053) (0.869*** (0.054 0. interactions effects Mode 6: Juncker Model 7: Schulz Intercept -4.119 (0.273 0.298*** 0.124** (0.039) -0.486*** (0.212*** (0.060) 0.604) 0.437*** 0.052) (0.035 0.072) -0.Table 4: Effect of candidate recognition and campaigning on turnout.029 0.066) (0.042 0.039) (0.459*** 0.861*** 0.041) trust EU institutions 0.035) 0.108*** (0.313*** 0.012 (0.1 .122) 0.135*** -0.087** (0.207) 0.321** (0.01 36 0.603*** 0.785*** (2.188) -0.036) (0.586 23.108*** (0.036) (0.624*** 0.136*** -0.055) 1.066) (0.274) candidate recognition married 0.108) (0.121*** (0.041 0.215) -0.110) (0.112) (0.486** (0.053 0.161 (0.037) (0.855*** -0.040) EU membership retrospective economic evaluation economic situation (personal) Compulsory voting 0.367.247 -11.042 0.218*** (0.030 (0.28 denotes p<0.074) -0.039) 0.117* (0.64 22.048) (0.019 1.091) news consumption 0.635) candidate recognition Residual (median) Observations Log Likelihood AIC * -0.099 (0.679) 0.266) 0.035) (0.040) (0.110) (0.000 (0.123 (0.036) Model 8: Verhofstadt Fixed effects secondary education tertiary education age female unemployed rural religious union member immigrant internet use Political knowledge interest in politics exposure to campaign (0.090 (0.249 23.056) 1.081 (0.201) 1.291*** (0.908*** 0.301*** (0.060) (0.59 22.046) (0.035) (0.036) 0.320*** 0.14 22.006 (0.223) -0.196) (0.128) 0.852*** (0.061) (0.123) -1.928*** (0.091) political discussion political efficacy partisanship 3.415*** 0.294*** (0.025 -0.036) (0.281) concurrent ntl election Post-communism candidate nationality 0.035 0.039) 0.041) -0.076* (0.062) (0.021 -0.055) 0.147*** -0.081** (0.281) -0.586 -11.136** (0.986*** (0.265** (0.007 1.502*** 0.082** (0.092) 3.064 0.034) (0.479* (0.060) (0.811.116) (0.069) (0.886*** (0.041) -0. ***denotes p<0.236) (0.084** (0.299) 0.083** (0.181) 0.139*** -1.347) 0.078) -0.132* (0.568*** (0.765.100 (0.325 0.128) (0.122* (0.209*** (0.130) 0.322*** (0.19 -11.574*** (0.704*** (2.230 0.283) 0.179 0.010 1.753*** 0.274) -0.052) (0.072) 3.040 0.943) (0.134 (0.881*** (0.061) 0.035 0.110) 0.144) 8.304*** (0.804.337) candidate campaign visits EPP support PES support ALDE support rec candidate X visits visits X EP group support Random effects (variance) Intercept 0.142*** -1. **denotes p<0.060) (0.125) 0.694** (0.447*** -1.040) -6.023 -0.126 (0.068) (0.574*** 0.414*** 0.586 0.054) trust national parliament -0.118 0.249 23.

Figure 1: Conditional effect of recognizing Schulz depending on countries where he campaigned Figure 2: Conditional effect of recognizing Verhofstadt depending on countries where he campaigned 37 .

Figure 3: Conditional effect of Schulz campaigning depending on strength of PES 38 .

“Don’t Know” answers were coded as incorrect answers as we consider that they reflect a degree of ignorance similar to the one reflected by incorrect answers (see Luskin and Bullock 2006. Sturgis et al. True/False Interest in politics: original wording QP6. Explanatory variables. Verhofstad recognition: original question QPP24. Hansen 2009a. “Don’t Know” answers were coded as incorrect answers as we consider that they reflect a degree of ignorance similar to the one reflected by incorrect answers (see Luskin and Bullock 2006. responses was recoded to 0 reflecting “No. 2008. Exposure to campaign: original wording QP8.3. original question available at the following link: eshomepage. True/False QPP23.1. recoded 1 for those who correctly identify the Socialist & Democrats /(NATIONAL PARTY) as supporting Junker’s nomination and 0 otherwise. Hansen 2009a. recoded 1 for those who correctly identify the Liberals and Allies Group/(NATIONAL PARTY) as supporting Junker’s nomination and 0 otherwise. “Don’t Know” answers were coded as incorrect answers as we consider that they reflect a degree of ignorance similar to the one reflected by incorrect answers (see Luskin and Bullock 2006. 39 . 2008. Hansen 2009a. the final variables takes values for ” 0 reflecting “No. There are [150% of real number] members of the [COUNTRY Parliament]. remember”. “Don’t Know” answers were coded as incorrect answers as we consider that they reflect a degree of ignorance similar to the one reflected by incorrect answers (see Luskin and Bullock 2006. True/False QPP23.87): d71_1 (discussion about national politics matters) d71_2 (discussion about European politics matters) d71_3 (discussion about local politics matters). recoded 1 for those who correctly identify the European People's Party /(NATIONAL PARTY) as supporting Junker’s nomination and 0 otherwise.APPENDIX 1: Variable description Dependent variable: Turnout: question wording “European Parliament elections were held on the (INSERT CORRECT DATE ACCORDING TO COUNTRY). not at all” to 1 reflecting “yes totally”. Sturgis et al. Political Knowlege: measure of political knowledge that ranges from 0 to 5. reflecting the correct True/False answers given by each respondent to. Sturgis et al. Sturgis et al.4 NAME OF THE HEAD OF GOVERNMENT) belongs to (NAME OF CORRECT PARTY). 2008. For one reason or another. Political discussion: a mean of three items (Cronbach alpha= 0. Switzerland is a member of the EU.2 Each Member State elects the same number of representatives to the European Parliament.pdf Junker recognition: original question QPP24. True/False QPP23. Schulz recognition: original question QPP24. 2008. individual component (level 1). Original statements: QPP23. not don’t remember ” and 1 reflecting “yes. some people in (OUR COUNTRY) did not vote in these elections. Did you yourself vote in the recent European Parliament elections?” recoded to 1 voted 0 did not vote. Hansen 2009a.9 Answers order was reversed and rescaled in the analysis.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Master-Questionnaire. final variables recoded to take values between 0 reflecting a low frequencies and 1 high frequency of discussion.

EU membership: original question wording QP7. D72. QPP9.2. recoded to take 1”EU membership is a good thing” and 0 otherwise. recoded to take values from 0 “had difficulties to pay bills most of the time” to 1” Almost never/never had difficulties with paying the bills”.2 (read in newspapers about the European election).3. recoded to take values from 0 reflecting no involvement to 1 reflecting strong involvement Contact by party: original question wording QP12. QP6. contacted” and 0 “no. recode 1 for those who ended their education after the age of 20 and 0 otherwise. final variables recoded to take values between 0 reflecting a low sense of efficacy and 1 a high sense of efficacy. QP9. QPP11.1 D72. recoded to 1 “yes. Trust EU institutions: original question wording QP6. recode to 1 “rural residence” and 0 “otherwise”.7.1 (TV news). Retrospective economic evaluation: original question wording QPP15. recode to 1 “unemployed” and 0 “otherwise”. recoded to take values form 0 reflecting no trust in the national parliament to 1 reflecting high trust in the national parliament. recoded to take values from 0 “is a lot worse” to 1 “is a lot better”. reflecting internal and external political efficacy at both national and EU level.4 (attended a meeting or a rally about the European election) and QPP11. recode 1 for those who ended their education between the age of 16 and 19 and 0 otherwise. ). Rural: original question D25.8. 40 . Secondary edducatiom: original question VD11. Economic situation: original question wording D60. Partisanship: wording of question QPP21 Recoded in 1 yes if R is feeling close to any party and 0 if the response is no News consumption: variable computed as the maximum of three items QP9. Married: original question D7c. QP6. recoded to take values form 0 reflecting no trust in the EU institutions to 1 reflecting high trust in the EU institutions. recoded to 1 married and 0 otherwise.3 (newspaper news): recoded to take values from 0 “never following the news” to 1 reflecting “following the news every day/almost everyday” Campaign involvement: mean of five items (Cronbach alpha= 0. Female: original question D10.7): QP11. Age: : original question VD11. QP11.1.3 (talk to friends of family about the European election).2 (online news) and QP9.4. QPP9. Tertiary education: original question VD8.5 (read online about the European election).76): QP6. recode to 1 “female” and 0 “men”.1 (watched a programme about the European election).2.Political efficacy: a mean of seven items (Cronbach alpha= 0. not contacted” Trust national parliament: original question wording QPP1. Unemployed: original question C14.2. QPP11.

Religious: original question D75. regional or local elections took place in the same day as the EP elections and 0 otherwise (source).idea.2 (work internet usage) and D63.3 (somewhere else internet usage). maro component (level 2) Compulsory voting: coded 1 for countries that have compulsory voting and 0 otherwise (source: http://www. recode 1 if respondent of citizen of the country and 0 otherwise Internet use: maximum of three items: D61. recode to take values between 0 “never attends religious services” to 1 “attends religious services more than once a week ” Union member: original question D76. Verhofstadt campaign visits: number of campaigning days Verhofstadt spent in a given country in the two month before the EP elections. recode to take values from 0 “never use internet” to 1 “use internet every day”. Explanatory variables. Juncker campaign visits: number of campaigning days Junker spent in a given country in the two month before the EP elections. recode 1 if he campaigned in the country and 0 otherwise. Election: coded 1 if any other national. Schluz campaign visits: number of campaigning days Schluz spent in a given country in the two month before the EP elections.cfm).1 (home internet usage). Post-communism: coded 1 for countries with a communist/socialist regime before 1989 and 0 otherwise. Concurrent ntl. recode 1 if he campaigned in the country and 0 otherwise.int/vt/compulsory_voting. D62. Candidate nationality: code 1 if any of the candidates is a citizen of the given country and otherwise. recoded 1 if respondent and/or somebody else in the household is union member and 0 otherwise Immigrant: original question D2. 41 . recode 1 if he campaigned in the country and 0 otherwise.

5 0.09 6.98 24.23 20.00 0.09 8.00 0 Slovakia 59.83 1 0 0 Bulgaria 52.7 37.92 38.77 1.9 13.00 0 Netherlands 74.00 1.00 1 11.1 0.1.52 9.60 15.66 40.00 0 13 0 0.98 9.14 0.75 18.00 0.6 12.29 27.14 0 0 0 Belgium 89.00 0.7 0 0 0 Estonia 63.17 16.00 1.00 0.53 13.44 0.00 1.00 0 Luxembourg 91.69 0.00 0 1 Hungary 61.37 22.3 12.00 1.97 9.00 0 UK 65.49 7.93 17.00 1 Northern Ireland Poland 48.81 0.65 11.50 23 15.96 1 20.95 40.03 27.1 16.00 0 Finland 67.44 37.00 0 Croatia 54.27 0 1.51 0.76 18.9 1 0 1 0 25.15 0.97 0.00 0.74 9.75 14.19 20.85 0 0 1 Italy 75.65 0.00 0 Slovenia 65.45 16.71 19.00 1.43 17.39 0.7 0 0 0 Flanders 19.7 0 1.00 0.85 18.3 19.63 19.60 24.56 15.63 0.91 26.05 22.5 0.1 1.32 24.00 0 1 Latvia 59.00 0.47 22.48 20.36 0.32 22.3 27.85 12.02 53.90 14.Table A1.00 0.36 29.00 0 0 Czech Republic 59.44 8.73 31.00 24.00 1.13 0 1 0 Denmark 87.04 0.00 0 Lithuania 52.4 6.17 34.94 31.81 13.00 0.00 0.1 0.00 0.6 46.00 1.19 13.00 0.00 0.11 33.00 0.4 16.00 0.73 51.49 36.2 19.00 0.18 9.00 0.02 8.00 0 Cyprus 78.00 1 Wallonia 42 .48 25.00 0 Ireland 70.55 35.66 0.6 41.00 0 0 Malta 92.87 0 0 1 Great Britain Concurrent elections Greece 62.00 0 Romania 41.00 0 Spain 68. Distribution macro variables Country Turnout in previous national elections EPP strength PES strength ALDE strength Candidate is citizen Postcommunism Austria 74.00 1.4 1 0 1 France 57.3 4.74 6.49 46.71 14.93 17.94 0 0 0 Germany 71.93 9.26 29.00 0 Sweden 84.15 37.00 0 Portugal 58.4 27.

Appendix 2: Campaign Calendar Table A2.1 :The Juncker campaign schedule Date Country City Type of Event 4/4/2014 Germany Munich Keynote speech at IHK Akademie 4/5/2014 Germany Berlin Press Conference + Keynote Speech at CDU Congress Belgium Nivelles/ Antwerp Press Conference (Nivelles) + Meeting EPP politicans (Nivelles/Antwerp) + Speech for the press (Antwerp) Netherlands Utrecht Campaign Speech at the CDA party conference 4/15/2014 France Pfettisheim/ Strasbourg 4/16/2014 Finland Helsinki 4/17/2014 Latvia Riga Visiting the farm of EPP President Joseph Daul + Speech on his candidacy and the importance of the Common Agriculture Policy + Press Point Campaign Event with National Coalition Party (EPP) + meeting with prime-minister + press conference Meeting with former Prime Minister + Live TV Debate with former Prime Minister and MEP Ivars Godanis 4/18/2014 Latvia Riga Meeting with Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma + press conference Belgium Brussels Press Conference 4/25/2014 Poland Poznan Summit of EPP regional and local political leaders and Prime Minister Donald Tusk 4/26/2014 Germany Braunschweig 4/27/2014 Bulgaria Sofia Campaign with CDU (EPP) and German lead candidate David Mc Allister Event launching the European campaign of Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) 3/25/2014 3/26/2014 3/27/2014 3/28/2014 3/29/2014 3/30/2014 3/31/2014 4/1/2014 4/2/2014 4/3/2014 4/6/2014 4/7/2014 4/8/2014 4/9/2014 4/10/2014 4/11/2014 4/12/2014 4/13/2014 4/14/2014 4/19/2014 4/20/2014 4/21/2014 4/22/2014 4/23/2014 4/24/2014 4/28/2014 4/29/2014 43 .

Campaign Events of ÖVP and press conferences 5/8/2014 Germany Berlin Event of Junge Union Berlin 5/9/2014 Italy Meeting with young EPP party activists from Italy Germany Florence Rotenburg an der Fulda 5/12/2014 Spain Madrid Campaign Event with Partido Popular 5/13/2014 France Bordeaux Meeting with former Prime Minister Alain Juppé and participation in round table 5/14/2014 France Paris Press Breakfast 5/15/2014 Belgium Brussels Press Briefing 5/16/2014 Germany Ludwigshafen Talk with Bundeskanzler a.D.4/30/2014 Germany Düsseldorf Meeting with CDU-politicians and press conference 5/2/2014 Malta Valetta 5/3/2014 Cyprus Nicosia Campaign of the Nationalist Party + Meeting with (former) Prime Minister + meeting EPP-politicians Meeting with President of the Republic. President of the Democratic Rally and attendance of a ceremony celebrating the 10th anniversary of Cyprus's accession to the EU 5/4/2014 Cyprus Nicosia Keynote speech at the electoral Congress of DISY 5/6/2014 Slovakia Bratislava Gala Dinner celebrating 10 years of Slovakia's EU Membership 5/7/2014 Austria Vienna Meeting with ÖVP-politicians (EPP). Helmut Kohl 5/17/2014 Porto Meeting with Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister 5/18/2014 Portugal Portugal/Greec e Lisbon/Athens Campaign Event with Alliance for Portugal (Lisbon)/Press Briefing (Athens) 5/19/2014 Greece Athens Meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and other ministers 5/21/2014 Belgium Brussels Receiving of the Youth-EPP campaign Vans + Press Conference 5/22/2014 Luxembourg Esch Campaign Event of the CSV 5/23/2014 Germany Saarlouis Campaign Event of the CDU with prime minister Angela Merkel 5/1/2014 5/5/2014 5/10/2014 Campaign of the CDU in Hesse 5/11/2014 5/20/2014 5/24/2014 44 .

2:The Schulz campaign schedule Date 3/25/2014 3/26/2014 Country Denmark City Copenhagen Type Meeting with Danish Social Democrats 3/28/2014 Finland Helsinki Meeting with Finish Social Democrats 3/29/2014 Germany Hamburg 1.Table A2. Conference of the SPD for the EP Elections 2014 Czech Republic Prague Round table discussion with European PES politicians 4/15/2014 Luxembourg Luxembourg Campaign Event of the Luxembourg Socialist Party (LSAP) 4/16/2014 Germany Offenburg 4/17/2014 France Paris Campaign Event of the SPD Speech at the launch of PS France's European Election Campaign + on economic governance to an audience of trade unionists entrepreneurs and academics (Porto) 4/22/2014 Germany 4/23/2014 Germany Weimar/Erfurt Cottbus/ Magdeburg Round table discussion (Weimar)/ Campaign Event of the SPD (Erfurt) Speech at a conference of work councils (Cottbus)/Campaign of the SPD with local SPD candidates for the EP 4/25/2014 Bulgaria Sofia Speech at the launch of the BSP European Election Campaign 4/26/2014 Romania Bucharest Speech at the party Congress for the EP Elections of the PSD + 4/29/2014 Ireland Dublin Campaign Event of the Irish Labour Party 4/30/2014 Ireland Belfast Campaign Event of the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) 5/1/2014 Poland 5/2/2014 Germany Warsaw/Lodz Essen/Dortmund /Bremen International Labour Day and Campaign with SLD Visiting EU-financed project (Essen)/Campaign Event of the SPD + with Martin Schulz (Dortmund) + SPD Campaign Event (Bremen) 5/3/2014 Germany Kiel/Wismar SPD Campagn Events with Martin Schulz 4/5/2014 4/6/2014 4/7/2014 4/8/2014 4/9/2014 4/10/2014 4/11/2014 4/12/2014 4/13/2014 4/14/2014 4/18/2014 4/19/2014 4/20/2014 4/21/2014 4/24/2014 4/27/2014 4/28/2014 45 . Campaign Event of the SPD with Martin Schulz 3/30/2014 Spain Madrid Campaign Event of the PSOE (PES) 3/27/2014 3/31/2014 4/1/2014 4/2/2014 4/3/2014 4/4/2014 Meeting with NGO's Belgium Brussels Speech at a three-day conference of the PES in Germany Berlin 1.

M. and public sector workers + round table discussion + meeting local PS France politicans Martin Schulz joint Swedisch Social Democrats (SAP) for door to door canvassing + meeting local SAP politicans 5/19/2014 Germany Nürnberg/Berlin Campaing Events SPD with Martin Schulz 5/20/2014 Germany Hannover Campaign Event SPD with Martin Schulz 5/21/2014 Spain Barcelona Campaign Event PSOE (PES) and Catalan Socialist Party (PSE) 5/22/2014 Austria Vienna 5/23/2014 Croatia/France 5/24/2014 Germany /Lyon Frankfurt a. trade unionists./Aachen Campaign Event SPÖ Martin Schulz + Croation Social Democratic Party informing about the Balkan Flood Situation/ Campaign Event of the PS France (Lyon) 5/5/2014 Germany 5/6/2014 5/7/2014 5/8/2014 5/9/2014 5/15/2014 5/18/2014 Campaign Event SPD with Martin Schulz 46 .5/4/2014 Portugal Saarbrücken/ Mainz Lisbon/Setubal/ Porto Campaign Event of the SPD with Martin Schulz (Saarbrücken) + Meeting working councils and trade union members Visiting factories and two social projects (Lisbon) + press conference with leader of Portuguese Socialist Party (Seguro) + Keynote Speech Belgium Brussels Press Conference to present the policy programme Italy Florence 5/10/2014 Malta Valetta/Paola Speech in front of hundreds of trade union representatives in a steel fabric + Meeting of Martin Schulz with Italian Prime-Minister and Party Leader of Partito Democratico Matteo Renzi Meeting with the Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat + Campaign Event of the Maltese Labour Party with Joseph Muscat 5/11/2014 Spain Malaga Campaign Event of the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) 5/12/2014 France Rezé 5/13/2014 France 5/14/2014 Italy/Slovenia Brest Verona/Trieste/ Ljubljana Campaign Event of the PS France Visiting agriculture and maritime industries + speech at the University of Brest about youth unemployment Round table discussion + Campaign Event Partito Democratico (PES) + Campaign Event (Ljubljana) 5/16/2014 France Forbach (Loraine) 5/17/2014 Sweden Umea Meeting local entrepreneurs.

3: The Verhofstadt campaign schedule Date Country City Type of Event Belgium Brussels Campaign event of VLD Slovenia Ljubljana Participation on a debate about the future of the EU Netherlands Den Haag Campaign Event of D66 4/4/2014 Belgium/ Croatia Brussels/ Meeting with Ban-Ki Moon (Brussels)/Campaign Event with Croatian Liberals IDS-DDI and HNS 4/5/2014 Italy Rome Campaign Event with Italian liberals Scelta Europea Romania Bucharest Campaign Event with Romanian liberals PNL Belgium Brussels Participation in a book presentation about Arab spring Italy Milano Congress of Italian liberals Scelta European Belgium Brussels ALDE Press Conference Germany Karlsruhe Campaign Event of German liberals FDP 4/24/2014 Poland Katowice Campaign Event with polish liberals Twoj Ruch 4/25/2014 Belgium Brussels Press Conference to launch election campaign France Lyon Campaign Event with French Liberals Les Europeens 5/2/2014 Austria Vienna Campaign Event with Austrian liberals NEOS 5/3/2014 Italy Napoli Campaign Event with Italian liberals Scelta Europea Sweden Uppsala Campaign Event 3/25/2014 3/26/2014 3/27/2014 3/28/2014 3/29/2014 3/30/2014 3/31/2014 4/1/2014 4/2/2014 4/3/2014 4/6/2014 4/7/2014 4/8/2014 4/9/2014 4/10/2014 4/11/2014 4/12/2014 4/13/2014 4/14/2014 4/15/2014 4/16/2014 4/17/2014 4/18/2014 4/19/2014 4/20/2014 4/21/2014 4/22/2014 4/23/2014 4/26/2014 4/27/2014 4/28/2014 4/29/2014 4/30/2014 5/1/2014 5/4/2014 5/5/2014 47 .Table A2.

/Stockholm 5/6/2014 Ireland Dublin Discussion about digitalisation in Europe + Visiting google + campaigning Italy Florence Campaign Event with Scelta Europea after TV-Discussion with other Canididates Belgium Brussels Campaign Event with Open VLD 5/13/2014 France 5/14/2014 Spain Paris Bilbao/ Barcelona Campaign Event with French liberals Meeting with liberal politicians + representatives from civil society and entrepreneurs + campaign event in Barcelona 5/15/2014 Belgium Brussels Presenting plan for Europe at the European Business Summit 5/16/2014 Czech Republic Prague Campaigning with Czech liberals ANO2011 5/17/2014 Italy Milano Campaigning with Italian liberals Scelta Europea 5/18/2014 France Paris Campaign Event with French liberals 5/21/2014 Belgium Hasselt Final Open VLD Campaign Event 5/22/2014 France Lille Campaign Event with Drench liberals 5/23/2014 Greece Athens Campaign Event 5/24/2014 Greece Athens Campaign Event 5/7/2014 5/8/2014 5/9/2014 5/10/2014 5/11/2014 5/12/2014 5/19/2014 5/20/2014 48 .

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