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Unveiling the Political Agenda of the European Parliament Plenary: A Topical Analysis

Authors: 

Derek Greene, James P. Cross

Publication Type: 
Refereed Conference Meeting Proceeding
Abstract: 
This study analyzes political interactions in the European Parlia- ment (EP) by considering how the political agenda of the plenary sessions has evolved over time and the manner in which Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have reacted to external and internal stimuli when making Parliamentary speeches. It does so by considering the context in which speeches are made, and the content of those speeches. To detect latent themes in legislative speeches over time, speech content is analyzed using a new dy- namic topic modeling method, based on two layers of matrix factor- ization. This method is applied to a new corpus of all English lan- guage legislative speeches in the EP plenary from the period 1999- 2014. Our findings suggest that the political agenda of the EP has evolved significantly over time, is impacted upon by the committee structure of the Parliament, and reacts to exogenous events such as EU Treaty referenda and the emergence of the Euro-crisis have a significant impact on what is being discussed in Parliament
Conference Name: 
ACM Web Science 2015
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
10.NA
Publication Date: 
28/06/2015
Conference Location: 
United Kingdom
Institution: 
UCD
Open access repository: 
Yes