Building: Faculty of Arts Floor: 3 Room: FA300
Since the Mediterranean Enlargement of the then European Community in the 1980s, Southern Europe has been seen as a region of strong pro-European sentiment. For South European societies, European integration was traditionally linked with economic prosperity and democratic stability. The EU rapidly became a 'given' of South European political life: relations with the EU had largely ceased to be a salient political issue and most governing parties in the region were solidly pro-integrationist. This picture has changed since the onset of the economic crisis. For the countries of the Southern Eurozone, the EU is now associated with painful economic austerity, difficult structural reform programmes and direct intervention in domestic political choices. This panel asks to what extent these developments have resulted in crisis-stricken South European societies rethinking their relations with the EU. Questions which papers could address include: Has European integration become more salient as a political issue? What kind of shifts have taken place in popular attitudes towards European integration? What kind of models of integration do South Europeans prefer? To what extent have political parties recalibrated their European policies and programmes? In a period of rising Euroscepticism, with some analysts already talking about a new era of European disintegration, the impact of the crisis on this formerly pro-European region has a broader significance for the future of the EU as a whole.