Radical and Populist Eurosceptic Parties at the 2014 European Elections: A Storm in a Teacup?
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The integration process has now entered a new and more difficult phase characterised by mass Euroscepticism and the rise of radical and populist parties. Against the backdrop of the economic crisis, Euroscepticism has become increasingly mainstreamed in the sense that it has become increasingly more legitimate and salient, and in many ways less contested, across Europe. The European elections in May 2014 attest to this trend. Claims of the EU’s non-democratic nature and the need for major reforms have become commonplace among mainstream parties, and this context has provided particularly fertile soil for Eurosceptic players. This introduction first briefly examines the complex nature of Euroscepticism before turning to an overview of the success of populist and right-wing Eurosceptic parties at the 2014 elections. Then, it discusses the lack of influence of these parties in the EP despite their electoral success. Last, the articles included in this issue of The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs are briefly introduced.
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