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ECPR Joint Sessions 2020 Sciences Po Toulouse

Secessionism as a Potential Outcome of the EU’s Multi-Level Governance: A Catalyst for Harder Euroscepticism

European Union
 
Federalism
 
Nationalism
 
Euroscepticism
 
Presenter
Yilmaz Kaplan
Erzurum Technical University
Authors
Yilmaz Kaplan
Erzurum Technical University

Abstract
The EU’s multi-level governance mainly emphasizes on the decentralization of the nation-state through redistribution of the member state’s sovereign power among the regional, national and supranational levels. According to this approach, the EU as a new polity with a multi-level governance system might maintain stability in Europe through providing a better political system for everybody compared to the European nation-state system. However, the European integration process witnesses not only the increasing attempts to deepen the EU’s multi-level governance but also the intensification of secessionist movements. Therefore, a possible correlation between the EU’s multi-level governance and secessionism in EU arises as an interesting question to study. To illustrate, the recent Scottish and Catalonian independence referendums have shown that secessionist movements might benefit from the EU’s multi-level governance. Therefore, this multi-level system might produce much more instability contrary to the mentioned expectation. Particularly, if nationalism is considered as an influential political ideology in Europe, secessionism as a potential outcome of the EU’s multi-level governance system might trigger harder Euroscepticism throughout Europe. Especially, nationalism as a frozen problem in Eastern Europe via enlargement might deteriorate in the post-enlargement era (e.g. the Hungarian Minorities in Transylvania, the fragile situation in the Balkans) if more people start to think that the EU’s multi-level governance promotes secessionism. Furthermore, the mentioned potentiality might also weaken the EU’s influence on Turkey and other neighbouring areas (e.g. Ukraine and the Caucasus).
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