• Two British Referenda on the EU, Two Directions of Travel

    Author: Elżbieta Kużelewska
    Institution: University of Białystok
    Author: Bogusia Puchalska
    Institution: University of Central Lancashire in Preston
    Year of publication: 2017
    Source: Show
    Pages: 77-96
    DOI Address:
    PDF: apsp/56/apsp5605.pdf

    EEC/EU membership has been one of the thorniest issues in British politics over the last 45 years. The 1975 referendum confirmed the UK’s will to stay in the EEC, but it failed to put to rest the argument over Europe. The 2016 referendum took Britain into the opposite direction, but it also reinstated the issue of the EU to the prime slot in British politics, where it is going to stay for the many years needed to settle the new relationship with the EU. The main drivers behind both referenda were the power struggle between the main parties and the gradual entrenchment of Euroscepticism as the dominating standpoint in British right-wing politics. The substantive concerns with EEC/ EU membership were merely a backdrop to the partisan battles leading to both referenda, but the crucial differentiating factor in 2016 was the Conservative perception of the threat posed by UKIP. The Eurozone crisis and austerity policies at home added to the potent mix of disillusion among the voters, who became receptive to promises of return to past glories of the UK freed from the shackles of Brussels.

  • Polish Eurosceptic Parties in the Light of EP Elections. Analysis of the Eurosceptic “Opportunity Structure”

    Author: Aleksandra Moroska-Bonkiewicz
    Institution: University of Lower Silesia
    Author: Joanna Kozierska
    Institution: University of Wrocław
    Year of publication: 2015
    Source: Show
    Pages: 279–299
    DOI Address:
    PDF: apsp/48/apsp4818.pdf

    The objective of this article is to explain the differing levels of support achieved by Eurosceptic parties in European Parliament elections in Poland for the years 2004, 2009, and 2014. Taking into account the specificity of EP elections, which in theory assign greater importance to European issues, the analysis is conducted using the “Eurosceptic opportunity structure”, which is composed of: political space, social attitudes towards integration, and the external factor (the dynamics of the European integration process). Additionally, there is analysis of the attitudes of Eurosceptic parties standing for election. The analysis demonstrates that the supply and demand sides created a similar opportunity structure for Eurosceptic parties in all three elections, while the external factor provided those parties with greater possibilities in 2004 and 2014. Analysis of the attitudes of Eurosceptic parties, however, indicated that they had greater chances to attract voters by invoking the European question in 2004 and 2014. The combination of these conclusions along with the support received by Eurosceptics in particular elections confirms the validity and the explanatory function of the adopted assumptions, while emphasizing the fundamental role played by the parties themselves in the examined aspect. Nonetheless, to confirm the primary assumption and state with more certainty the impact of the European issue on electoral behaviours, more in-depth analysis is necessary.

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