Daniela Kietz, Nicolai von Ondarza

Eurosceptics in the European Parliament

Isolated and Divided in Brussels but Driving National Debates

SWP Comment 2014/C 13, February 2014, 4 Pages



There is growing concern that Eurosceptic parties could fare very well in the May 2014 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. But 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. What the European Parliament does offer these parties, however, is an attractive public forum to exercise pressure and influence on national politics, which is their actual objective. Ultimately, it is national governing parties that take on board Eurosceptic ideas in fear of electoral defeat and transport them into the Union.

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Andrea Schmitz
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Muriel Asseburg
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Challenges and Policy Options for the EU and its Member States