Several studies have tried to investigate the approach of regionalist parties to the challenges imposed by the strengthening of the European institutions, highlighting how these organizations have benefited from that process, acquiring greater weight and legitimacy over time.
Here we choose to study how regionalist parties, that operate within the European Parliament, move and define themselves. It’s not an attempt to analyze these movements in their position of interested observers of the tortuous process of European integration, but the proposal of a different point of view, useful to understand how the representatives elected within the lists of regionalist parties behave as agents within the Community institutions.
In particular, we wanted to analyze them as members of the principal elective organ of the European Union, which has become more and more central in the legislative process.
The final target of this research is tracing the behaviors and the paths that approach and distance the different souls of regionalism, focusing on the positioning of the parties within the complex mechanism of the Community institutions.
The paper refers to an already developed literature about the study of the parliamentary voting employed to identify, through the use of machine learning techniques, the spatial dimensions in which lie the positions of parliamentarians and to quantify the degree of cohesion of the groups.
Not to constrain the study only to the vote dimension, we chose to merge this approach to the use of techniques of text analysis applied to the acts produced by MEPs of regionalist parties during the first year of the VIII European Parliament.