this rule. The age of parties is no guide, either. The ex-communists belong to an old family but took a long time to accept the idea of a TNP. The Greens, much younger, have gravitated to transnational solutions much more quickly. The radicalism, real or presumed, of party families is no guide either to their transnational postures. Both the ex-communists and Greens are radical in quite different ways but arrive at opposing conclusions so far as the purpose of TNPs is concerned. One could develop all these lines of argument further, but a preliminary conclusion might run as follows. For the present, TNPs exist for all the families; limited but real use is being made of them. Within this very general parameter, there are, as we have seen, some variations across party families and, though this is outside the scope of this paper, between different national parties in the same family. Such genuinely transnational activity as there is has developed because national parties have at different times decided to let some of their functions go to these limited transnational agents. Given the present mood of mistrustful intergovernmentalism in Europe, it is likely to be some time before this situation develops and the TNPs move on to a further stage of development.
David Hanley is a Professor in the School of European Studies at Cardiff University.
Volume 3 - Spring 2006
European View_Transnational parties and european democracy