The Rise of Euroskepticism and Possible Responses prior to the 2014 European Parliament Elections

In recent years, negative attitudes towards the European Union have been on the rise in […]

Policy Study

09/10/2014

In recent years, negative attitudes towards the European Union have been on the rise in the majority of European societies. The criticism faced by EU institutions, among them the European Commission and the European Parliament, and the general apathy surrounding European Parliament elections threaten to decrease the legitimacy and prestige of the entire Union. Contrary to expectations, the fulfillment of the European Parliament’s co-legislative role in the last decades did not result in acceptance and confidence for the decision-making institutions.
 
Skepticism towards the present and future of the Union is visibly affecting an increasing number of social groups. Because euroskepticism has a “tradition” of over forty years, it contains compounded layers of correlation. It can even appeal to highly educated demographics who can be viewed as the winners of integration. Today, critiques of the EU’s operations are not only staples for radical organizations. Polls show that both contributing and benefiting states face increasingly prominent friction when they argue in defense of EU membership. The amount of voters criticizing or rejecting the European Union has mushroomed in both developed and developing countries. Both winners and losers experience this trend. This growth supports the notion that the euroskeptic attitude does not haunt existentially threatened demographics exclusively, but it is also prevalent among the beneficiaries of consumerism and European democratic systems. The emergence of euroskepticism today can be traced back to much more complex causes than in the 1990s or at the millennium.
 
Without understanding changing electoral mentalities it is impossible to prepare for the challenges the EU must confront and for the 2014 European Parliament elections. This study by Tamás Boros, FEPS Scientific Council Member and Director of Policy Solution and  Zoltán Vasali, Senior Political Analyst, Policy Solutionsaims to map trends within euroskepticism, identify euroskeptic demographics, and make recommendations for reaching euroskeptic or apathetic European citizens.
 
It is also a follow up of the conference “Democracy, Freedom and Liberty in Central and Eastern Europe”, which took place on 16 November 2012 in Budapest, Hungary with the support of the Táncsics Mihály Foundation, József Attila Foundation and Policy Solutions.
 

Find all related publications
Publications
04/10/2022

Europe’s social integration

Welfare models and economic transformations
28/09/2022

Towards a social democratic century? 

How European and global social democracy can steer a course through the crises
27/09/2022

Enduring values

How progressives across Europe can win
26/09/2022

Transforming the Political Union

Reinforcing europarties ahead of the European elections
Find all related news
News
23/09/2022

FEPS President in the United Nations General Assembly

During the UNGA 77 week in New York, FEPS is expanding its global partnership. Among […]
13/07/2022

Extended Call for Tender – Media Services

The deadline of this Call for Tender has been extended until September 30th Download the […]
21/06/2022

Ahead of this week’s European Council, progressive MEPs and MPs urge EU leaders to take resolute actions toward the Western Balkans

On 17 and 18 June, the ‘Friends of the Western Balkans’, the newly established network […]
17/06/2022

First meeting of the Friends of the Western Balkans

How do we get out of the dead end in the enlargement process?
Find all related in the media
In the media

Sulle riforme del pnrr sull’inclusione serve partecipazione dei territori

by ANSA 06/10/2022
Interview with FEPS Director of Studies and Policy David Rinaldi

The EU’s magic solution

by Euractiv 29/09/2022
Interview with FEPS Secretary General László Andor on the conditionality mechanism to Hungary

La spirale du prix de là guerre

by europanova 16/09/2022

Une époque sous instabilité émotionnelle

by Marianne 15/09/2022