Between the Party and the European Union?

The Regulation of Working Time in France

in French Politics, Culture & Society
Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

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Do parties matter when EU policy is implemented in France? This article examines this question first in the context of cleavage theory and the literature on party positioning on European integration that draws attention to the origin and the nature of party preferences, and second in light of empirical evidence from the implementation of the Working Time Directive in France. It shows that, when faced with the same issue, governments of different ideological orientation responded in a way that reflected their historically defined référentiel rather than an EU Diktat. The argument here, then, is that far from ending domestic political contestation on the Left-Right axis, European integration and its concrete domestic manifestations in France are in fact subject to it.

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