What Can We Learn From 2014′s European Election Manifestos?

Many lobbyists are looking to influence the upcoming manifestos for the 2019 EU elections. The key to success is to align your language with the language of the parties. The word clouds below show you how to ‘frame’ your issue to be the most attractive to those writing the 2019 manifestos.


There is a lot of speculation about the 2019 EU elections. The publication of party manifestos are the starting gun for the election cycle. A guidebook to different parties’ objectives, manifestos lay out the broad themes for candidates to rally behind. More interesting than the content are the value-laden words parties use around their meta-themes. Designed to excite their voting pool, they give us clear guidance on how best to engage with parties. This language does not change much year-on-year, even if the topics do.


Below are word clouds from the 2014 manifestos of the main EU groups: EPP (European People’s Party, mostly Christian Democrats and Conservatives), PES (Party of European Socialists, mostly Socialists and Labour) and ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, mostly Liberals). The more times a word is used, the larger it is. We have removed words such as “the,” “and,” etc. What are your observations?





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If you look closely:

  • EPP focus on security, community and growth
  • PES are driven by fairness, protection and equality
  • ALDE is looking at liberty, universalism and economy

When you approach any of the groups above, these themes must “pop” from your page. More interestingly, if you look at common topics, such as jobs and growth, different words are used to describe similar concepts. Understanding this nuance is critical. For example:

  • EPP “will create conditions that favour small and medium-sized businesses,  family firms, start-ups and entrepreneurs.” A clear community focus.
  • PES’s priority is that Europeans “must have a decent job that allows a good quality of life.” A clear fairness focus.
  • ALDE states that liberal policies will “boost the EU’s competitiveness.” A clear internationalist approach.


Who knows what the 2019 manifestos will look like? But we can be confident that the EPP will continue to work with the concept of security, PES on equality and ALDE on liberty. No matter what topic you are discussing, knowing these themes should shape your own engagement with the parties.

June 2018