English title: 'A nation of vicars and merchants': Religiosity and Dutch MEPs
Author(s): Didier Caluwaerts - Pieter-Jan De Vlieger - Silvia Erzeel -
Type: Journal article
Religion is a major driving force in the Dutch political system and as European integration has progressed, it is often argued that these national practices affect how national representatives act in the European Parliament (EP). Our aim in this study is to determine to what extent the religious divide impacts upon the work of Dutch MEPs in the European political arena. On the basis of the RelEP survey and interviews, we argue that religious or secular views are very salient to Dutch MEPs, but that their impact is largely indirect. Moreover, we find that Dutch MEPs actively use the EP and its committee system in an attempt to redefine the relationship between church and state in the Netherlands. And finally, we argue that the European arena offers new opportunities for mobilisation among those promoting secularist interests.
From page no: 166
To page no: 179
Journal: Religion, State and Society