(Re)Formation of Attitudes towards the European Integration: The Case of the Party-based Euroskepticism in the Netherlands

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    • Presentation speakers
      • Elcin Karana and Sevilay Kahraman, Middle East Technical University, Turkey


    There has been a growing interest towards the right-wing policies and parties in Europe over the past decade. Contrary to the common knowledge that reduces the rise of extreme right tendencies and its repercussions on the future of the EU to patriotic feelings and identity perceptions only, skeptical attitudes towards the EU are multidimensional (Werts, Scheepers & Lubbers, 2012; Boomgaarden, Schuck, Elenbaas & de Vreese, 2011; Garry & Tilley, 2009). The article reviews the historical evolution of these skeptical approaches and Euroscepticism in general as the basis of (re)forming attitudes towards the EU and European integration process by focusing on several content analyses as well as survey data conducted in the Netherlands during the period of 2004-2009. Taking into account the internal versus external political divergences between the far-right parties and liberal/democrats, it is argued that Euroscepticism indicates ‘a model of spiral type cause-and-effect chain’ both at the national and supranational levels. In light of the findings of the study the following hypotheses are verified: “H1- Domestic right wing political tendencies in prominent EU member countries like the Netherlands have been leading to a more effective Euroscepticism regarding further European integration.” “H2- In this process, despite the growing influence of public-based Euroscepticism, party-based Euroscepticism has been still the most prominent driving force in the Netherlands.” “H3- The level of public support and electoral outcomes have been directing right wing political formations in the Netherlands to seek for alliances gathering Eurosceptic formations from the other EU member countries.” This research aims to shed light on future analyses on the increasing far right and strengthening Euroscepticism in the other European countries by evaluating the reasons and most probable end results of this processes.