Euroskeptics, Europeanists, Euroenthusiasts, Europhobes – How to Work with These Categories? Cover Image
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Euroskeptici, europeanisté, euroentuziasté, eurofobové – jak s nimi pracovat?
Euroskeptics, Europeanists, Euroenthusiasts, Europhobes – How to Work with These Categories?

Author(s): Lubomír Kopeček
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Mezinárodní politologický ústav Masarykovy univerzity v Brně
Keywords: European Union; European integration; Euroskepticism; Europeanism; cleavage; party families; quantitative methods; Czech parties

Summary/Abstract: This article presents an overview of the debate on political parties’ attitudes to European integration and the European Union (‘Europe’). First, it focuses on the typology of party attitudes to ‘Europe’. It deals with two anti-European attitudes – soft Euroskepticism and hard Euroskepticism, as defined by Paul Taggart and Aleks Szczerbiak. Taggart and Szczerbiak have defined hard Euroskepticism as a principled opposition to the EU and to European integration. Soft Euroskepticism stands for a non-principled objection to European integration or the EU. Subsequently, Petr Kopecký and Cas Mudde’s critique of this approach is analyzed, and an alternative typology is specified. The latter distinguishes between a diffuse and a specific support for European integration (i.e. the support for the idea of European integration and the support for the EU). The article also debates Nicolo Conti and Luca Verzichelli’s three new categories of party positions towards ‘Europe’. Two of these positions are positive (identity Europeanism and functional Europeanism) and one is neutral. Identity Europeanism is based on a principled support for the EU and for European integration. Functional Europeanism implies that support for European integration is conditional on its compatibility with a specific domestic or party interest. The neutral position means that a party has no clear attitude to European integration. The article further analyzes the current positions of Czech political parties towards the EU. Second, quantitative methods applied in research on party attitudes towards ‘Europe’ are briefly presented and their advantages and disadvantages are assessed. Third, the question of whether European integration creates a new cleavage is discussed. The negative answer given in the article is supported by Peter Mair’s explanation of the limited and indirect impact of European integration on national party systems. Fourth, party families’ attitudes towards European integration are summarized. Finally, the paper suggests possible future developments of Euroskepticism and Europeanism during the ratification of the European constitution in member states.

  • Issue Year: XI/2004
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 240-262
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Czech