EU Skepticism in Tailwind Part III

Many believe that traditional politics has left a void that the new rebel movements are now trying to fill. First and foremost, politics has disappeared because voters have withdrawn into their own private sphere. The membership numbers of the political parties are falling, as is the turnout. Today, hyper-connected voters can follow everything a government does online, and they can protest and demonstrate in completely new ways. People seem to prefer new ways of participating politically as alternatives to voting in elections. In such a landscape, it may seem as if the “old” parties have abandoned their traditional role as bearers of people’s perceptions. The parties no longer represent the voters, they have become a kind of ruling class, which is more concerned with winning than they are with the possibilities of representing certain views or social groups.

Now it’s first and foremost about getting maximum support from those who already agree with you. This has always been part of traditional election campaigns, but due to the new access to big data, enormous, detailed knowledge of voters’ preferences about everything, this practice can be carried out on an industrial scale.

6: To fill the void of politics

The new rebel movements are trying to fill the political void left by the traditional parties. They are reformulating politics to be something different than before: politics is now a conflict between the people and the elite , and the new ones are reinventing the traditional power of being in opposition. (Several parties, such as the Dutch Freedom Party PVV, Greek Syriza, or the Five Star Movement in Italy, have at times gone to great lengths to avoid being in government.) In many ways, the European Parliament election is the perfect choice for these movements. This is not an election that results in a government – to vote here is an action without consequences .

The rise of EU skepticism has affected, but not dramatically, the composition of the European Parliament . However, some are concerned that the riots could hinder further EU integration or halt the ratification of trade agreements. If it becomes more difficult to pursue ordinary EU policy in the future because of this, one can imagine that politicians who want to work for further integration in Europe steer clear of the open debates in the European Parliament, and rather work for agreements between the member states’ leaders. In the long run, this could lead to a disintegration of the idea of ​​community that underlies much of the work in the Union.

7: What does the emergence of EU skeptics mean?

But the real threat from EU skeptics lies in the influence they can have over the established parties’ agendas. Many large parties have already become harsher in their criticism of the EU, in response to the rise of EU skepticism. There is little difference between how the British Conservative Party and the British Independence Party talk about EU issues. This is entirely in line with UKIP leader Farage’s stated goal of changing the policies of the established parties, rather than coming to power himself.

According to NATUREGNOSIS, EU skeptics in the EU parliamentary elections may make it less attractive to work for more European integration in many of the most important member states. The challenge is particularly noticeable when it comes to the important management of the economy in the euro countries. If we are to succeed in working towards a closer, and more well-functioning economic and monetary union, the EU needs renewed strength and perhaps even a new treaty. The emergence of skeptics in their respective home countries may prevent individual governments from relinquishing more sovereignty or from starting work on amending the EU treaties. Such changes require a referendum in many of the member countries. The closer we get to a truly economic and monetary union (EMU),

The danger is that the traditional parties will respond with a kind of withdrawal from European issues and that they will work for a purely bureaucratic cooperation. Instead, governments should open up a real political battle between different visions for Europe. By trying to maintain the distinction between the left and the right in politics, both at national and European level, one can get the ideological debate back on the agenda.

This requires several measures :

  • More inventive ideas about migration, solidarity and responsibility – What obligations and rights should the member states have towards each other?
  • A new plan for growth, responsible capitalism and social protection
  • An agenda about European autonomy, which shows that the EU is the solution to the challenges of the 21st century – among them China’s emergence.

The challenge will be to break the cooperation between the Eurosceptics instead of fueling their desire to form a common front against the “elite”. To succeed in this, the established parties on both the right and the left must become much better at acknowledging the EU-skeptical critique of Europe. At the same time, they must reject the solution proposals to EU skeptics.

Many Europeans are angry at the EU because the union has not kept its promises, whether it is an overly strict austerity policy or uncontrolled immigration. So far, the euro has been saved, but it has cost a lot : both in terms of lost growth, fewer jobs, high unemployment and large divisions between citizens and elites, between creditor countries and countries with large debts, and between the euro countries and those outside. euro cooperation.

If Europe is to succeed in defeating the EU skeptics, these can be challenged both in the individual member states and in the common European arena. Europe needs more politics and more disagreement . Instead of rallying against EU skepticism, the established parties can emphasize the differences between them, to give people real alternatives, and to deal with the issues people are concerned about.

EU Skepticism 2

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