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An overview of the process of europeanisation in british politics

Hard Euroscepticism is a principled opposition to the EU and European integration, and a desire for national withdrawal from the EU. Soft Euroscepticism, on the other hand, is a qualified opposition to certain policies based on perceived threats to national interests.

This classification distinguishes six categories, of which the first three cannot be considered Eurosceptic: Maximalists an overview of the process of europeanisation in british politics strongly in favour of European integration, both in general and for specific policies, Reformists combine a general acceptance of advancing integration with constructive criticism, Gradualists accept slow and piecemeal advances of integration. Minimalists accept the status quo while rejecting further advances in integration, Revisionists want to return to an earlier state of integration, e.

The analysis of Eurosceptic parties below will draw on Taggart and Szczerbiak 2002, as well as on Flood and Usherwood 2005. According to the economic cost-benefit analysis, or utilitarian explanation, people in Europe will make calculations according to whether they believe that the European Union economically helps or hurts them, and then will decide whether they support the EU according to this assessment.

Thus, 17 in the wealthiest, most capital-rich member states we expect unskilled workers to be Eurosceptic and managers and professionals to be Eurosupportive, while in the poorest, most labor-rich member states we expect the reverse. There is much debate over the definition and presence of a democratic deficit.

This perceived democratic deficit manifests itself in the conviction that the EU bodies are generally not accountable to citizens, the European Parliament as the only directly elected body is too weak, and the EU has strengthened executive power at the expense of national parliaments.

Regardless of the existence of such a deficit, public perception of the democratic deficit has an impact on support for European integration, especially in countries that have well-functioning national democracies. This is the first and strongest common denominator of Eurosceptic parties, upon which they base their political programs. The conceptions of nation, national identity, and nationalism are all difficult to define, much less to analyse.

Andersen argues that a nation is imagined by its inhabitants, as they do not personally know all the other people in the nation. A sense of community is solidified through either a common culture or civic ideology Western civic nationalismor through ethnicity.

It is commonly recognized that one of the most popular ways of defining a nation is in contrast to other established nations. It is also possible to contrast the nation against other ethnic or political groups to achieve a similar effect. It is important to keep in mind that exclusive national identity, i. Domestic audiences will be more Eurosceptic when they have strong feelings of national identity, low feelings of European identity, and they are worried about the degradation of this national identity by outsiders.

  1. This same strategy is being used to some extent by current nationalist Bulgarian political parties, such as Ataka. The introduction and chapter one offer two salient analytical frameworks that inform the subsequent contributions.
  2. The Freedom Party holds 24 of the 150 seats in the lower house, and is currently the third largest party.
  3. This perceived democratic deficit manifests itself in the conviction that the EU bodies are generally not accountable to citizens, the European Parliament as the only directly elected body is too weak, and the EU has strengthened executive power at the expense of national parliaments.
  4. Second, the lesson-drawing model suggests the domestic actors adopt EU policy only in those instances where this is deemed an effective solution to domestic problems. Denmark has gone so far as reinstating internal border checks for a brief period.
  5. Turkey and the European Union takes a wide-ranging look at the Europeanisation of Turkey in recent years, covering areas from social policy and human rights to foreign policy.

This perceived threat from outsiders could be in the form of either realistic or symbolic threats. Based on the assumption that Euroscepticism cannot be divided between old and new member states, as it would gloss over commonalities and differences both among these groups and within them, and in order to better understand Euroscepticism, we conducted a country-by-country and party-by-party analysis, to tease out the commonalities of these Eurosceptic groups.

Historically, beyond the last forty years, the region has a diverse experience. While Poland and Lithuania where large kingdoms in the Northeast, others used to be under the influence of the Habsburg empire, and others in the southeast were under the Ottoman empire. For others, like the Baltic States and Slovakia and Slovenia, EU membership is a crucial factor in their question of independence in the case of the Baltic States, independence from Russia.

And while some like Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Lithuania have a long national history, for others such as Romania and Slovakia, their national history is a relatively modern phenomenon. In the 1990s, political parties in the CEEC did not reflect socioeconomic cleavages and were considered a weak element in the democratisation process.

Citizens in these countries were highly polarised on anti-communist or nationalist lines, and showed low membership in new political parties after feeling apathy and opposition to forced membership in the communist party.

Raccourcis

This led to the formation of new parties around strong personalities, a stronger interest and higher trust in president than parliament, and a low turn-out at elections due to a feeling of powerlessness. However, when looking at voter turn-out at the last parliamentary elections in EU member states, differences between eastern and western Europe are marginal: They were present in public debates on EU membership in all enlargement rounds.

This tendency has led to widespread Euroscepticism among far-right nationalist parties. However, this Euroscepticism is usually related to other issues such as immigration and national identity, and is rarely the UK being somewhat of an exception to this general trend the main goal of these parties. We have chosen a total of five EU member states Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, the Netherlands and the United Kingdomwhich have been prominent in the discussion about Euroscepticism, and we will extract the common strands that form the basis for Euroscepticism in these states.

In addition, reference will be made to Eurosceptic parties in other countries. The early Bulgarian state was in constant conflict with Byzantium—from 1366-1878 it was occupied, and became a province of the Ottoman Empire. In 1878, an independent Bulgarian state emerged after the Russo-Turkish war, even though it was technically considered a vassal state to the Turkish Empire.

Out of this fragmented history, the Bulgarians began the process of rebuilding a sense of national identity. However, after the Bulgarian defeat in the Second Balkans war, as well as both World Wars, the Bulgarians reacted by blaming and persecuting non-ethnic Bulgarians. This also occurred in the later part of Bulgarian Communist rule, where the Communist Party tried to preserve its legitimacy by emphasizing an ethnic national identity, at the expense of ethnic minorities, such as Turks and Pomaks.

This same strategy is being used to some extent by current nationalist Bulgarian political parties, such as Ataka. Ataka is not principally opposed to EU membership. However it has demanded the revision of some aspects of its accession agreement, including the forced closure of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant. However, one of the results of this interference has been to emphasize the Finnish language, rather than emphasize the Magyar ethnicity.

The focus on Finnish language as a major component of Finnish national identity means that many sources about Finnish history, culture, and politics are in Finnish only. Immigrants make an overview of the process of europeanisation in british politics a mere 2.

Despite antiimmigrant attitudes, the Finnish population is generally favourable towards the EU. The True Finns do not fit easily on the left wing-right wing political continuum: They are far right when it comes to protecting Finnish national identity and preventing immigration, but they have left-leaning social policies and support welfare for Finnish citizens.

They are opposed to Finnish funds being used in European bailouts. As it turns out, both of these tendencies have been seen since 1989. However, during the period from 1995 and 2003, ethnocentrism has also increased. Recently far-right populist parties, such as Jobbik, have placed social reunification of ethnic Hungarians at the top of their agenda, but this emphasis on ethnicity has also been accompanied by xenophobia, especially towards the Roma minority in Hungary.

In the last parliamentary elections, Jobbik won 16. Jobbik is vehemently nationalistic and opposes any aspects of European integration that make Europe anything more than a league of traditional sovereign nation states.

Jobbik asserts that many Gypsies do not want to work, that they take advantage of the welfare system and that they are responsible for a large part of crime. Freedom Party 36 Traditionally, Dutch national identity has been built on the principles of tolerance and multiculturalism.

Dutch society has responded to Islamic immigration primarily from Morocco and Turkey by establishing a new Islamic pillar, in addition to the Protestant and Catholic pillars, with support for Islamic schools, etc. This murder shocked the Dutch population, and led to serious questions about the feasibility of a Dutch national identity based on multiculturalism and tolerance in the face of Islamic fundamentalism.

Currently, the Netherlands seems to be in a crisis of its national identity. The Freedom Party holds 24 of the 150 seats in the lower house, and is currently the third largest party. However, he also holds Eurosceptic views. Wilders and his Freedom Party are staunchly antiimmigrant, especially towards Islamic immigrants. By setting up a website where Dutch can complain about citizens from CEE countries, Wilders implicitly attacks the freedom of movement.

Wilders is also vocal in opposing the Netherlands giving money to the EU to bail out states such as Greece and Portugal. Wilders wants the Netherlands to have financial autonomy from Brussels, and wants domestic control over immigration, both of which are hard Eurosceptic, revisionist positions.

  1. Citizens in these countries were highly polarised on anti-communist or nationalist lines, and showed low membership in new political parties after feeling apathy and opposition to forced membership in the communist party. The initial enthusiasm of the 2002-2004 period and the subsequent slow-down between 2005-2007 in the adoption of minority rights legislation can both be explained by the parallel weakening in the credibility of EU conditionality.
  2. This minority coalition is supported by Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party, which gives the party a disproportional amount of power and allows it to promote its Eurosceptic and Islamophobic views in the Dutch political system. This was demonstrated in the reintroduction of Danish border controls, which the DF demanded in exchange for support of pension reforms.
  3. The last five chapters each tackle a particular policy area, such as social and foreign policy.

It is generally considered to be far-right and populist, and its main stance is withdrawal from the EU. It can be considered a hard Eurosceptic, rejectionist party.

  • This makes it easy for populist political parties to take advantage of the visibility of the issues of immigration and bailouts for political gain;
  • These parties universally favour a Europe of nations, where nations retain control over the traditionally sovereign areas of currency, citizenship, foreign policy, and border controls;
  • However, they do not accurately reflect the benefits provided by the EU in the areas of trade, etc;
  • A short overview such as this can do little more than scratch the surface of this empirical detail.

Of the main British political parties, the Conservatives have been identified as the most Eurosceptic. In line with this, they support amending the 1972 European Communities Act so that any future treaty that transfers more competences to the EU would be subject to a referendum. While none of these positions are a principled rejection of the EU, they offer specific objections to particular areas of the EU, especially in the area of the relationship between national sovereignty and the EU.

This argument follows the logic of the national identity explained above—Eurosceptic parties seek to protect their national identity, from both realistic and symbolic perceived threats from membership in the EU.

Far-right parties have merged both Euroscepticism and fear of immigrants predominantly Islamic immigrants as the basis of their far right platform. These parties universally favour a Europe of nations, where nations retain control over the traditionally sovereign areas of currency, citizenship, foreign policy, and border controls.

They argue that if the EU is allowed to control these aspects of traditional state sovereignty, the nation state will no longer have control of its destiny, and its national identity will erode.

They argue that without internal border checks they will not be able to repel the tide of immigrants that pour into southern countries such as Italy, then migrate freely to their countries and undermine their traditional national identity.

Both of these parties oppose the freedom of movement and instead an overview of the process of europeanisation in british politics the resumption of national control of national borders.

Denmark has gone so far as reinstating internal border checks for a brief period. This is a classic example of perceived realistic threat that people outside of the national group will sap the resources of the nation. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders is also vocally opposed to sending money to Brussels to be used to bail out Portugal, Greece, and Spain, which he calls lazy.

However, they do not accurately reflect the benefits provided by the EU in the areas of trade, etc. Far-right Eurosceptic parties generally see the fields of immigration and financial autonomy as the areas where the EU infringes most on traditional sovereignty. These two fields are also very visible, and thus good tools for rallying dissatisfied voters to their cause.

In the case of immigrants, people can actually see foreigners living in their communities. European bailouts are also very visible, often occupying newspaper headlines. In contrast, the EU benefits such as increased trade surpluses are usually not noticed by the general public, and are instead mostly recognized by economists and intellectuals.

This makes it easy for populist political parties to take advantage of the visibility of the issues of immigration and bailouts for political gain. However, this coalition had a minority in parliament and thus had to rely on the votes of the DF to pass legislation.

The support of the DF came at a high price, as it demanded concessions on immigration issues in exchange for support on key policy areas. This was demonstrated in the reintroduction of Danish border controls, which the DF demanded in exchange for support of pension reforms.

This minority coalition is supported by Geert Wilders and his Freedom Party, which gives the party a disproportional amount of power and allows it to promote its Eurosceptic and Islamophobic views in the Dutch political system. Even though as of yet Wilders has been unable to implement his most radical ideas such as taxing headscarves and banning the Koran, his position in relation to the minority government has allowed him to significantly impact the political debate in such areas as immigration and the Dutch position towards the European Union.

Overall, the parties offering Eurosceptic and nationalistic policy solutions are characterised by arguments based on Eurosceptic myths founded on a vague understanding of national identity, and the idea that the EU is an expensive endeavour.

However, they make these assertions without offering realistic calculations for their arguments. Far-right parties propagate these arguments both out of ideological belief, and a desire to tap into antiimmigrant and anti-EU public sentiments in order to win elections.

These national identities are rarely explained further, either by the Eurosceptic parties in Hungary and Romania or in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

These arguments based on national identity are generally used against all forms of mingling, i. In future research, it would be useful to take a closer look at the arguments used by Eurosceptic parties and how these can be countered constructively.