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ECPR Futures Lab 2020

European Elections, Euroscepticism and the Media

European Union
Section Number
Section Chair
Wouter van der Brug
University of Amsterdam
Section Co-Chair
Olga Gyarfasova
Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, Comenius University

This Section has the support of the ECPR Standing Group on Public Opinion and Voting Behaviour in a Comparative Perspective.

Political elites have created the European Union (EU) and its predecessors, they have initiated further economic and political integration, and they have taken decisions to enlarge the Union with new member states. Until the late 1990s this elite-driven project has experienced little opposition from citizens, while at the same time citizens were not very interested in the direction in which ‘Europe’ was heading. As a result, European elections were largely second-order national elections.

However, there are reasons to believe that the period of permissive consensus for the European project is over. The European project is increasingly opposed by citizens and it seems to take much of the blame for the way the current financial crisis is handled. In Southern Europe, the EU is blamed by many for imposing financial austerity rules, which bring these countries into economic recession, while in Northern Europe many blame the EU for ‘wasting the tax payers euros on helping incompetent and corrupt regimes in Southern Europe’. These sentiments are expressed most strongly by (left and right wing) populist parties. These parties are clearly trying to make the future of Europe an issue in European as well as national election campaigns. We would therefore expect the future of the EU to increasingly become a core topic of contestation in European and national elections. Moreover, the initial EU-phoria which was wide-spread in new democracies that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 appears to be cooling down.

Panel List

Code Title Details
P019Attributions of Blame and European Integration View Panel Details
P031Campaigns and Consequences of EU Referendums View Panel Details
P097East-West Comparisons – Electoral Behaviour in EP Elections and Beyond View Panel Details
P110Europe: A Sleeping Giant in Domestic Politics? View Panel Details
P113European Parliament Elections: Still Second Order? View Panel Details
P272Public Orientations Towards European Integration in the Crisis and Beyond View Panel Details
P378The Social Dynamics of Turnout View Panel Details
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