ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

Back to Paper Details

Transnational Euroscepticism vs Transnational Euroalternativism

European Politics
Political Parties
Populism
Euroscepticism
European Parliament
Simona Guerra
University of Surrey
John FitzGibbon
Canterbury Christ Church University
Simona Guerra
University of Surrey

Abstract

Peter Mair argued that the lack of an institutional framework that facilitates the contestation over European politics makes European integration politics a “zero-sum game”. Yet, in the time following this statement the dynamism of Euroscepticism has allowed it to evolve its strategy beyond national contestation of the EU into a ‘transnational European political space’ (FitzGibbon et al. 2016). The centralisation of economic and financial supervision in response to the ‘Eurocrisis’ has provided Eurosceptics with the opportunity for structuring a new form of pan-European contestation that has adapted to these new policy realities. Understanding this evolution of Eurosceptic strategy helps, in part, to explain why a nativist politician, Matteo Salvini, is now calling for a pan-Eurosceptic alliance. This development gives rise to important questions; principally can this form of transnational contestation be described as Euroscepticism? And, if so, what type? We argue that the recent 2019 EP elections demonstrate opposing (successful) transnational Eurosceptic collaborations: on the right, opposing EU integration on the political and economic side, protecting national sovereignty, in particular with regard to the immigration agenda; and on the left, adopting a Euro-alternative agenda, pointing to accountability, transparency, legitimacy, democracy, the role of the ECB, and a border-free Europe. This is a significant development as the EP has long been the arena in which the ‘zeitgeist’ of Euroscepticism has manifested itself and the surface of new forms of contestation (Caiani and Guerra 2017) towards the EU.