Sunday, 4 August 2013

Euroscepticism on the rise - Will the Dutch again show the way for Europe?

"Dutch Euroscepticism is reaching unheard-of heights: a Gallup survey in early June found voters split evenly, 39% each, on whether to exit the EU entirely. Most recent political polls put the Freedom Party in a close scrum for the second-largest share of the vote, and one poll has it in the lead. The other strongly Eurosceptic party, the far-left Socialists, is doing nearly as well."
The Financial Times

The Dutch used to be the champions of European integration. Now it appears that they will again show the way for Europe:

Those days are gone, and in July Geert Wilders, a far-right politician known for calling on the Netherlands to ban the Koran and exit the euro, wrote them a piquant epitaph. Mr Wilders announced he would hold talks with right-wing parties in other countries about forming an anti-Europe bloc in the European Parliament elections this autumn. He has since spoken with Marine Le Pen’s National Front in France, a party similar to Mr Wilders’s Freedom Party in many ways, and with the Lega Nord in Italy. Having shattered the multi-cultural Netherlands, which once brokered the integration of Europe, Mr Wilders is now proposing to undertake Europe’s dismantling.

Read the entire article here

Simon Hix, European politics professor at the London School of Economics, recently presented a report which confirms that things are looking good from an eurocritical point of view:

“My belief is that we will see a rise in eurosceptic votes,” Hix said, referring to strong surges by anti-European groups and poor performance of socialists in national opinion polls.

“Coalitions that we may think of as stable now may be very different with a different make-up of the Parliament in the future. If more anti-European than pro-European forces are in the Parliament, we could see a strong effect.”

This might pose problems for the other major EU institutions. “It is difficult to see how the European Commission and the Council are going to respond to what might a wave of euroscepticism,” he said.

The Germans have been able to create an artificial lull in the continuing euro crisis, but one thing is certain - the crisis will return with a vengeance after the September 22 elections in Germany. This will of course lead to increasing support for eurocritical forces all over the European Union.

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