Just a short note re Jens Rohde’s announcement that he would be making Danish and not liberal politics in the European Parliament. My former colleague Camilla Sandstr÷m wrote her thesis on the ELDR (the “party” whose line Rohde will not tow). Camilla’s thesis is unfortunately not available online but you may want to check out another Umeň-thesis: Magnus Blomgren’s “Cross-Pressure and Political Representation in Europe: A comparative study of MEPs and the intra-party arena” (available through this link):
The overall picture that emerges is of a relatively weak link between MEPs and the national level. To a certain extent, MEPs express frustration over their limited role in the national arena and over the lack of input from the national arena in their work at the European level. Most of the parties struggle to include MEPs in their organizational set-up, and the MEPs experience a growing hostility within the parties toward them. In general, the lack of interest and knowledge in the national arena, concerning the EU in general and specifically the work of the MEPs, obscures the role of the MEPs. They become EU ambassadors at the national level, rather than elected representatives at the EU level.
PS: If you have access, you might also want to take a look at Simon Hix et al, 2006: “Dimensions of Politics in the European Parliament”, American Journal of Political Research, 50/2, 494-511.