The Career Paths of Central European MEPs. Political Experience and Career Ambitions in the European Parliament

by András Bíró-Nagy,

This article investigates the career paths of Central European Members of the European Parliament. Based on an analysis of biographies and the results of a quantitative survey about career ambitions with MEPs from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, this paper outlines both the career paths that lead to the European Parliament and the perspectives for a career after the EP mandate. Central European MEPs are more strongly linked to national politics than the MEPs of the EU-15, and they are even more embedded in their countries of origin than the MEPs of the first directly elected EP were in 1979. However, local politics is a much less frequent recruitment base for future MEPs in Central Europe than in the “old” Member States. The political experience and career ambitions of Central European MEPs disprove the popular myth, according to which the European Parliament is essentially a retirement home for politicians who have no future political goals. The majority of Central European MEPs plan further career steps at the European or national levels, and only approximately a third of them can be considered as “European pensioners”.

published in Vol 19 - No 1 - 2019 // General issue
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  • Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (chair) Hertie School of Governance
  • Larry Diamond Stanford University
  • Tom Gallagher University of Bradford
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  • Philippe Schmitter Stanford University
  • Helen Wallace London School of Economics and Political Science

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  • Ingi Iusmen

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Societatea Academica Romana