Eurosceptics in the European Parliament

On May 25, European Union citizen's will vote for a new European Parliament and there is growing concern that Eurosceptic parties could fare very well the upcoming European elections. Fears abound that the formation of a strong extreme right and right-populist camp could endanger the functioning of the European Parliament and plunge the EU system into its next political crisis.

In their paper "Eurosceptics in the European Parliament", Daniela Kietz and Nicolai von Ondarza from the German Institute for Interantional and Security Affairs however argue that past experience with Eurosceptics points in a different direction. The Parliament will continue to function, but at the price of a further weakening of party-political polarisation, they say. According to Daniela Kietz and Noclai von Ondarza, the Eurosceptics' coherence can be expected to be extremely weak because past experience shows that their members rarely vote on the basis of shared joint positions. At the same time, the European Parliament offers these parties an attractive public forum to exercise pressure and in-fluence on national politics, which is their actual objective. The paper argues that ultimately, it is national governing parties that take on board Eurosceptic ideas in fear of electoral defeat and transport them into the Union via national politics and the Council of Ministers.

To read the full SWP Comment by Daniela Kietz and Nicolai von Ondarza, please click here.

Photo courtesy of sarflondondunc.

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