The European Elections – Eurosceptic Europe?
The European parliamentary elections will take place from 22 to 25 May 2014. Due to the current economic crisis in the European Union (EU) and increasing scepticism towards Europe, the parliamentary elections and newly appointed European Commission will be highly significant in the future direction of the EU.
In a series of Snapshots, FTI Consulting is looking into different aspects of the elections and institutional changes to shed light on how this will influence our work. This second snapshot takes a closer look at euroscepticism.
Old as the EU
Euroscepticism is by no means a new development. It has previously been brought to light by the rejection of the proposed European Constitution in 2005 via referenda in France and the Netherlands, and additionally by the political bullying needed to convince Ireland and the Czech Republic to ratify the subsequent renegotiated treaty.
Both the fundamental structure of the EU and the approach taken by Member States in their dealings with the Union seem to have strengthened the feeling of distance, which many Europeans voice when discussing Brussels and its pan-European institutions. Brussels is often accused of failing to take into consideration the perspective of the EU’s citizens on key economic and social decisions, such as the introduction of the Euro. Moreover, national politicians have proven all too keen to shift the blame of policy failures on Brussels, whilst happily claiming responsibility for European successes; a dual discourse which heavily contributes to deepening negative sentiment towards the EU.