European Project in Danger? Understanding Precisely the Phenomena “Euroscepticsm, Populism and Extremism” in Times of Crisis

Florian Hartleb

Abstract


The European project has recently reached a critical point, where a discussion on the fundamental objectives of the European Union has entered public debate. Obviously, a new euroscepticism is on the rise which is often linked with the agenda of populist or even extremist parties and a general tendency of ‘renationalizing Europe’. The drifting apart within the mainstream parties shows the cracks in European society. The success of right-wing populist tends to be volatile despite of the fact that this heterogeneous party family seems to be a permanent factor in the European party landscape. In Austria or France, the parties show with the second generation of leadership that they are able to renew themselves. But the parties differ a lot in the national backgrounds, can be extremist or totally not. In general, it is unlikely that any right-wing populist or extremist international groups will be formed any time soon competing as unified force at the European level. Extremist parties do not have enough potential support to pose a threat to the existing liberal democratic order with some exceptions such as Hungary an Greece due to the time of a severe crisis not only in economic terms. The power of European integration is so strong that it is unlikely that there will be any national U-turns on this issue, despite the occasional upsurge of populism or extremism in individual countries. Nevertheless, the debate over the future of European integration and of the European Union itself will continue to have a significant influence on the political debate in individual member states.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/res.v4n5p45

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Review of European Studies   ISSN 1918-7173 (Print)   ISSN 1918-7181 (Online)

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