BBC Learning Zone Clips

CLIP 14337

The political groupings of the European Parliament

The political groupings of the European Parliament
Key Info
  • The political groupings of the European Parliament
  • Duration: 10:19
  • Shirin Wheeler examines the various political groupings which make up the European Parliament. Unlike domestic politics which is organised along party political lines, the European Parliament consists of trans-national groupings based on shared political values. There are currently seven main political groupings ranging from far left to far right; those at the centre of the spectrum tend to hold the balance of power. There are strict rules about minimum numbers required to form a new grouping, to avoid leaving a group of non-attached members marginalised. The Lisbon Treaty has increased the powers of the parliament generally but the shifting of alliances has also had powerful effects - this is demonstrated through interviews with a variety of parliamentary participants who have quite disparate views. The general trend, however, is towards greater consensus and groupings whose reactions are becoming increasingly predictable. Ultimately, this may have repercussions for the way MEPs are elected. This report was produced for the BBC Democracy Live website in May 2011 and the groupings mentioned may have shifted since. Democracy Live also provides live and on-demand video coverage of the UK's national political institutions and the European Parliament.
  • Subject:

    Citizenship and Modern Studies


    Politics and Government: The Democratic and Electoral Processes

  • Keywords: DemocracyLive, AtoZofParliament, European Union, MEPs, trans-national political grouping, non-attached member, Lisbon treaty, coalition, European Commission, European Council, legislation, manifesto, sovereignty
Ideas for use in class
  • Could be used to develop understanding of the main political groupings within the European Parliament. In groups students could then be allocated one of the main seven political groupings to research and be asked to report their findings back to the class.
Background details
  • Clip language : English
  • Aspect ratio : 16x9

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