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Most political action still takes place at the national level so political parties are primarily focused on trying to obtain power through national parliaments. However they are also affiliated to European Party groupings in the European Parliament.

For instance:
Fine Gael is part of the European Peoples party (centre right Christian democrats)
Fianna Fail is part of  the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party
Sinn Fein is part of the European United Left-Nordic Green Left party
and Labour is aligned with the European socialists

There is quite a lot of policy coordination and cooperation between national parties within these European groupings, but the real power is still vested in the EU Council (made up of prime ministers) and the European Commission (made up of Government nominees - usually ex prime ministers or cabinet ministers of the ruling parties in each country).

It's not as centralised as the USA, but within the constraints of the Treaties, national states within the EU are still sovereign. Alao the EU budget is only 1-2% of U GDP compared to the Federal Budget which is c. 20% of GDP.


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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 5th, 2020 at 11:30:05 PM EST
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