Following this year’s election results in the Netherlands and France, many in the media, politics, and academia were quick to announce the death of euroscepticism. Whether they know it or not, 2017 has proved these voices wrong. 2016 was no anomaly, and euroscepticism never died—it’s bigger than ever. Here’s why…
In light of the push from Paris to create a pan-Eurozone budget, there is a real risk of transfer union—something most Germans don’t want. Knowing the flexibility Merkel has shown Brussels in the past, only the Free Democratic Party stands between German taxpayers and pensioners, and a system that penalizes them for their fiscal prudence.
Instead of pushing for mediation or supporting democratic expression, the EU has squarely rejected Catalonia’s peaceful attempts towards further autonomy. Regardless of Brussels’ justification for this, it will likely lose another generation of supporters as a result.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year since this blog’s first post. Much has changed since the Brexit vote, but you can always count on The Eurosceptic to cover important events, introduce new arguments, and defend the right of all peoples to self-determination.
From its accession to the EU in 2004, the Czech Republic has been among the most eurosceptic member states. As Czechs head to the polls on October 20-21, they are likely to elect a parliament composed primarily of eurosceptic parties, meaning a 4-year headache for Brussels.
Rather than inspiring a constructive attitude to Brexit talks in Brussels, Theresa May’s Florence speech generated yet more calls for “clarity”, and that “sufficient progress” be made before talks could advance. This lacklustre EU position is not the result of sincere consideration of May’s proposals. Rather, it looks a lot more like a deliberate tactic to either prevent Brexit, or punish Britain.
French President Emmanuel Macron laid out his vision for European integration in a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Chief among his suggestions were a pan-Eurozone budget, pan-EU lists at the next European parliamentary election, and even a big step toward an EU military. In order to achieve any of these goals, Macron must gain approval from Germany, the bloc’s largest, most powerful member. With its recent election producing a fractured German parliament, the French President’s ambitions are set to meet a formidable roadblock.
Regardless of who wins the most seats in October’s parliamentary election, it is safe to say that the next Austrian government will be equally as hawkish on borders, and at least as likely to circumvent the EU when it deems necessary.
More democracy is never a bad thing, especially in the case of opaque organisations such as the EU. However, attempts to engineer pan-EU democratic institutions ignore a key factor preventing them from ever working: there is no European demos.
With the Catalan independence referendum fast approaching, there are still many unknowns. Will Catalans be able to vote? If they do, will they vote for independence? If yes, will Catalonia leave the EU? Of all the paths to European disintegration, Catalan independence is certainly the wildcard, so we’ll just have to wait and see.