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He's Worse than Me: The Eurosceptic Parties at the Turning Point


Abstract


One of the most important reasons for the expansion of Eurosceptic parties is the worsening of the economic crisis. This and, more generally, the processes of globalization/denationalization have not had the same effects for all citizens; a new structural conflict, opposing the “winners” and “losers” of glob-alization, has arisen. Usually the mainstream political parties tend to take the “winners’” side, while the peripheral parties tend to adopt a “loser’s”’ programme and to use Euroscepticism as a mobilizing issue; the electoral constituency of the Eurosceptic parties is therefore formed, above all, by the “losers” of globalization. The 2014 European elections represented an important turning point for the Eurosceptic parties; they obtained an unprecedentedly large percentage of votes, but no “political earthquake”, “sweeps”, or “Europe’s populist backlash” occurred. The Eurosceptic parties have never been able to form a joint anti-European front, because of their mutual mistrust. “He’s worse than me”, could be the state-ment that best epitomizes the relationships within the Eurosceptic right-wing camp. A further exacerba-tion of the economic crisis and/or the inability of the EU institutions in addressing it could lead such parties towards new and more considerable achievements.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v8i1p97

Keywords: Economic crisis; European elections; Euroscepticism; Eurosceptic parties; Populism

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