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Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
(also known as EU-scepticism)[1][2][3] means criticism of the European Union
European Union
(EU) and European integration. It can also mean opposition to and total rejection of the EU (anti-EU-ism).[4][5] The main sources of Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
have been notions that integration weakens national sovereignty and the nation state; that there is a democratic deficit in the European Union; that the EU is too bureaucratic;[6][7] that it encourages high levels of migration; or perceptions that it is a neoliberal organisation which benefits the business elite at the expense of the working class.[8] Euroscepticism is found in political parties across the political spectrum, both left-wing and right-wing. Recently, the rise in populist right-wing parties in Europe is strongly linked to a rise in Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
on the continent.[9] Eurobarometer surveys of EU citizens show that trust in the EU and its institutions has declined strongly since a peak in 2007.[10] Since then it has been consistently below 50%.[11] A 2009 survey showed that support for EU membership was lowest in Latvia, the United Kingdom (UK) and Hungary.[12] By 2016, the countries viewing the EU most unfavourably were Greece, France, Spain
Spain
and the UK.[13] A referendum on continued EU membership was held in the UK in 2016, which resulted in a 51.9% vote in favour of leaving the EU. Since 2015, trust in the EU has risen slightly in most EU countries as a consequence of falling unemployment rates and accelerating economic growth.[14] Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
should not be confused with anti- Europeanism as the former is internal while the latter is external and the latter refers to rejection of European culture and Europeanisation and sentiments, opinions and discrimination against European ethnic groups. The opposite of Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
is known as pro- Europeanism (or European Unionism).

Contents

1 Global outlook 2 Terminology

2.1 Hard Euroscepticism 2.2 Soft Euroscepticism 2.3 Criticism of terms 'soft' and 'hard' Euroscepticism 2.4 Other terms

3 Eurobarometer surveys 4 History in the European Parliament

4.1 1999–2004 4.2 2004–09 4.3 2009 elections 4.4 2014 elections

5 Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in the EU member states

5.1 Austria 5.2 Belgium 5.3 Bulgaria 5.4 Croatia 5.5 Czech Republic 5.6 Cyprus 5.7 Denmark 5.8 Estonia 5.9 Finland 5.10 France 5.11 Germany 5.12 Greece 5.13 Hungary 5.14 Ireland 5.15 Italy 5.16 Latvia 5.17 Lithuania 5.18 Luxembourg 5.19 Malta 5.20 Netherlands 5.21 Poland 5.22 Portugal 5.23 Romania 5.24 Slovakia 5.25 Slovenia 5.26 Spain 5.27 Sweden 5.28 United Kingdom

6 Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in other possible members

6.1 Iceland 6.2 Moldova 6.3 Montenegro 6.4 Norway 6.5 Russia 6.6 San Marino 6.7 Serbia 6.8 Switzerland 6.9 Turkey 6.10 Ukraine

7 See also 8 Footnotes 9 References

Global outlook[edit] While having some overlaps, Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
and anti- Europeanism are different. Anti-Europeanism has always had a strong influence in American culture and American exceptionalism, which sometimes sees Europe on the decline or as a rising rival power, or both.[15] Some aspects of Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
have been mirrored by U.S. authors.[15] Terminology[edit]

Flag of the "EUSSR", a common trope[16] among right-wing hard Eurosceptics, comparing the EU with the USSR.

There can be considered to be several different types of Eurosceptic thought, which differ in the extent to which adherents reject integration between member states of the European Union
European Union
(EU) and in their reasons for doing so. Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart described two of these as hard and soft Euroscepticism.[17][18][19][20][21] Hard Euroscepticism[edit] According to Taggart and Szczerbiak, hard Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
(also called anti-EU-ism)[17][18][19][20][21] is "a principled opposition to the EU and European integration
European integration
and therefore can be seen in parties who think that their countries should withdraw from membership, or whose policies towards the EU are tantamount to being opposed to the whole project of European integration
European integration
as it is currently conceived."[20] The Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
group in the European Parliament, typified by such parties as the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), displays hard Euroscepticism. In western European EU member countries, hard Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
is currently a characteristic of many anti-establishment parties.[22] Some hard Eurosceptics prefer to call themselves 'Eurorealists' rather than 'sceptics', and regard their position as pragmatic rather than "in principle". Additionally, Tony Benn, a left-wing Labour Party MP who fought against European integration
European integration
in 1975 by opposing membership of the European Communities
European Communities
in that year's referendum on the issue, emphasised his opposition to xenophobia and his support of democracy, saying: "My view about the European Union
European Union
has always been not that I am hostile to foreigners, but that I am in favour of democracy [...] I think they're building an empire there, they want us to be a part of their empire and I don't want that."[23] The Czech president Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus
rejected the term "Euroscepticism" for its purported negative undertones, saying (at a meeting in April 2012) that the expressions for a Eurosceptic and their opponent should be "a Euro-realist" and someone who is "Euro-naïve", respectively.[24] François Asselineau
François Asselineau
of the French Popular Republican Union has criticised the use of the term 'sceptic' to describe hard Eurosceptics, and would rather advocate the use of the term "Euro opponent".[25] However, he believes the use of the term 'sceptic' for soft Eurosceptics to be correct, since other Eurosceptic parties in France
France
are "merely criticising" the EU without taking into account the fact that the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union
European Union
can only be modified with a unanimous agreement of all the EU member states, something he considers impossible to achieve.[26] Soft Euroscepticism[edit] Soft Euroscepticism
Soft Euroscepticism
is support for the existence of, and membership of, a form of European Union, but with opposition to specific EU policies; or, in Taggart's and Szczerbiak's words, "where there is NOT a principled objection to European integration
European integration
or EU membership but where concerns on one (or a number) of policy areas lead to the expression of qualified opposition to the EU, or where there is a sense that 'national interest' is currently at odds with the EU's trajectory."[27][28] The European Conservatives and Reformists
European Conservatives and Reformists
group, typified by centre-right parties such as the British Conservative Party or Czech Civic Democratic Party, along with the European United Left–Nordic Green Left which is an alliance of the left-wing parties in the European Parliament, display soft Euroscepticism. Criticism of terms 'soft' and 'hard' Euroscepticism[edit] Some have claimed that there is no clear line between the presumed 'hard' and 'soft' Euroscepticism. Kopecky and Mudde have said that if the demarcation line is the number of and which policies a party opposes, then the question arises of how many must a party oppose and which ones should a party oppose that makes them 'hard' Eurosceptic instead of 'soft'.[29] Other terms[edit] Some scholars consider the gradual difference in terminology between 'hard' and 'soft' Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
inadequate to accommodate the large differences in terms of political agenda. Therefore, "hard Euroscepticism" has also been referred to as "Europhobia" as opposed to mere "Euroscepticism".[30] Other alternative names for 'hard' and 'soft' Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
include, respectively, "withdrawalist" and "reformist" Euroscepticism.[31] Eurobarometer surveys[edit] A survey in November 2015[update], conducted by TNS Opinion and Social on behalf of the European Commission, showed that, across the EU as a whole, those with a positive image of the EU are down from a high of 52% in 2007 to 37% in autumn 2015; this compares with 23% with a negative image of the EU, and 38% with a neutral image.[32] About 43% of Europeans thought things were "going in the wrong direction” in the EU, compared with 23% who thought things were going "in the right direction" (11% "don't know").[33] About 32% of EU citizens tend to trust the EU as an institution, and about 55% do not tend to trust it (13% "don't know").[10] Distrust of the EU was highest in Greece (81%), Cyprus
Cyprus
(72%), Austria
Austria
(65%), France
France
(65%) and Germany, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
(UK) and the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(all 63%). Overall, more respondents distrusted their own government (66%) than the EU (55%). Distrust of national government was highest in Greece
Greece
(82%), Slovenia (80%), Portugal
Portugal
(79%), Cyprus
Cyprus
(76%) and France
France
(76%).[34] History in the European Parliament[edit] 1999–2004[edit] A study analysed voting records of the Fifth European Parliament
European Parliament
and ranked groups, concluding:[35] "Towards the top of the figure are the more pro-European parties (PES, EPP-ED, and ALDE), whereas towards the bottom of the figure are the more anti-European parties (EUL/NGL, G/EFA, UEN and EDD)." 2004–09[edit] In 2004, 37 Members of the European Parliament
European Parliament
(MEPs) from the UK, Poland, Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden
Sweden
founded a new European Parliament
European Parliament
group called "Independence and Democracy" from the old Europe of Democracies and Diversities (EDD) group. The main goal of the ID group was to reject the proposed Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe. Some delegations within the group, notably that from UKIP, also advocated the complete withdrawal of their country from the EU, while others only wished to limit further European integration. 2009 elections[edit] The elections of 2009 saw a significant fall in support in some areas for Eurosceptic parties, with all such MEPs from Poland, Denmark
Denmark
and Sweden
Sweden
losing their seats. However, in the UK, the Eurosceptic UKIP achieved second place in the election, finishing ahead of the governing Labour Party, and the British National Party
British National Party
(BNP) won its first ever two MEPs. Although new members joined the ID group from Greece
Greece
and the Netherlands, it was unclear whether the group would reform in the new parliament.[citation needed] The ID group did reform, as the Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Democracy
(EFD) and is represented by 32 MEPs from nine countries.[citation needed] 2014 elections[edit] The elections of 2014 saw a big anti-establishment vote in favour of eurosceptic parties, which took around a quarter of the seats available. Those that won their national elections included: UKIP in the UK (the first time since 1906 that a party other than Labour or the Conservatives had won a national vote), the National Front in France, the People's Party in Denmark
Denmark
and Syriza
Syriza
in Greece. Second places were taken by Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
in Ireland and the Five Star Movement in Italy. Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council, agreed following the election to re-evaluate the economic area's agenda and to launch consultations on future policy areas with the 28 member states.[citation needed] Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in the EU member states[edit] See also: European migrant crisis Austria[edit]

Heinz-Christian Strache, leader of the Austrian hard Eurosceptic party FPÖ.

As of 2013, six parties together held all 183 National Council seats, and all bar one of the 62 Federal Council seats and 19 European Parliament seats. The Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs (SPÖ - social democrats), which holds 56/183 NC, 24/62 FC, and 5/19 EP seats, is pro-European integration, as is the Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP - conservative/Christian), which holds 51/183 NC, 28/62 FC, and 6/19 EP seats, and Die Grünen – Die Grüne Alternative (green), which holds 20/183 NC, 3/62 FC, and 2/19 EP seats. The Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs (FPÖ), established in 1956, is a right-wing populist party that mainly attracts support from young people and workers.[36] In 1989, it changed its stance over the EU to Euroscepticism. It opposed Austria
Austria
joining the EU in 1994, and opposed the introduction of the euro in 1998. The party would like to leave the EU if it threatens to develop into a country, or if Turkey
Turkey
joins. The FPÖ received 20–27% of the national vote in the 1990s, and more recently received 17.5% in 2008. It currently has 34/183 National Council seats, 4/62 Federal Council seats, and 2/19 European Parliament seats. The Bündnis Zukunft Österreich (BZÖ), established in 2005, is a socially conservative party that has always held Eurosceptic elements. In 2011 the party openly supported leaving the eurozone, and in 2012 it announced that it supported a full withdrawal from the European Union.[37] The party has also called upon a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.[38] In polls it currently receives around 10%–15%, although in one state it did receive 45% of the vote in 2009. It currently has 13/183 National Council seats, 0/62 Federal Council seats, and 1/19 European Parliament
European Parliament
seats. Team Stronach, established in 2012, has campaigned to reform the European Union, as well as to replace the euro with an Austrian Euro. In 2012, it regularly received 8–10% support in national polls.[39] Politicians from many different parties (including the Social Democratic Party and the BZÖ) as well as previous independents switched their allegiances to the new party upon creation.[40][41] In two local elections in March 2013, it won 11% of the vote in Carinthia, and 10% of the vote in Lower Austria. It currently has 6/183 National Council seats, 1/62 Federal Council seats, and 0/19 European Parliament
European Parliament
seats. Ewald Stadler, a former member of FPÖ (and later of BZÖ) was very Eurosceptic, but in 2011 became member of the European Parliament
European Parliament
due to the Lisbon Treaty. Before Stadler accepted the seat, this led to heavy critics by Jörg Leichtfried (SPÖ) "Stadler wants to just rescue his political career" because Stadler before mentioned he would never accept a seat as MEP if this was only due to the Lisbon Treaty.[42] On 23 December 2013 he founded a conservative and Eurosceptic party called The Reform Conservatives. In the 2014 European Parliament
European Parliament
election, the FPÖ increased its vote to 19.72% (up 7.01%), gaining 2 new MEPs, making a total of 4; the party came third, behind the ÖVP and the SPÖ. EU-STOP (the electoral alliance of the EU Withdrawal Party and the Neutral Free Austria Federation) polled 2.76%, gaining no seats, and the Reform Conservatives 1.18%, with Team Stronach
Team Stronach
putting up no candidates.[citation needed] Belgium[edit] The main Eurosceptic party in Belgium is Vlaams Belang. In the 2014 European Parliament
European Parliament
election, Belgium's Vlaams Belang
Vlaams Belang
lost over half of its previous vote share, polling 4.26% (down 5.59%) and losing 1 of its 2 MEPs.[43][44] Bulgaria[edit]

Volen Siderov, leader of the Bulgarian Eurosceptic party Attack.

European flag
European flag
in Bulgaria torn down by supporters of the Eurosceptic party Attack

Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views are Union of Communists in Bulgaria, NFSB, Attack, and VMRO – BND (also to some degree Bulgaria Without Censorship, which is in a coalition with VMRO – BND, both members of the Eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists). Bulgaria's Minister of Finance, Simeon Djankov, stated in 2011 that ERM II membership to enter the Euro
Euro
zone would be postponed until after the Eurozone
Eurozone
crisis had stabilised.[45] In the 2014 European Parliament
European Parliament
election Bulgaria remained overwhelmingly pro-EU, with the Eurosceptic Attack party receiving 2.96% of the vote, down 9%, with the splinter group National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria taking 3.05%; neither party secured any MEPs. Followers of Eurosceptic Attack tore down and trampled the European flag on 3 March 2016 at a meeting of the party in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, dedicated to the commemoration of the 138th anniversary of the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire.[46] Croatia[edit] Parties with Eurosceptic views are mainly small right-wing parties like Croatian Party of Rights, Croatian Party of Rights
Croatian Party of Rights
dr. Ante Starčević, Croatian Pure Party of Rights, Autochthonous Croatian Party of Rights, Croatian Christian Democratic Party
Croatian Christian Democratic Party
and Only Croatia – Movement for Croatia. The only major parliamentary party that is vocally eurosceptic is the Human Shield, whose candidates came fourth in the 2016 parliamentary election, winning 8 of 151 available seats. Their position is generally considered to waver between hard and soft Euroscepticism; it requests thorough reform of the EU so that all member states would be perfectly equal. Czech Republic[edit] Main article: Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in the Czech Republic

Vaclav Klaus, former Eurosceptic President of the Czech Republic.

In May 2010, the Czech president Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus
claimed that they "needn't hurry to enter the Eurozone".[47] Petr Mach, an economist, a close associate of president Václav Klaus and a member of the Civic Democratic Party between 1997 and 2007, founded the Free Citizens Party
Free Citizens Party
in 2009. The party aims to mainly attract dissatisfied Civic Democratic Party voters.[48] At the time of the Lisbon Treaty ratification, they were actively campaigning against it, supported by the president Vaclav Klaus, who demanded opt-outs such as were granted to the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and Poland,[49][50][51] unlike the governing Civic Democratic Party, who endorsed it in the Chamber of Deputies.[52] After the treaty has been ratified, Mach's party is in favour of withdrawing from the European Union completely.[53] In the 2014 European Parliament
European Parliament
election, the Free Citizens Party won one mandate and allied with UKIP in the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Freedom and Direct Democracy
(EFD). The 2017 Czech legislative election brought into Parliament three Eurosceptic parties. The soft Eurosceptic Civic Democratic Party (ODS) is the second largest, the new hard Eurosceptic Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) is the fourth largest and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM) that is largely regarded as a Eurosceptic party is the fifth largest party in the Czech parliament. Cyprus[edit] Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views in Cyprus
Cyprus
are New Internationalist Left, the Progressive Party of Working People, Committee for a Radical Left Rally
Committee for a Radical Left Rally
and ELAM. Denmark[edit] Main article: Denmark
Denmark
and the European Union

Pia Kjærsgaard, Speaker of the Parliament of Denmark; member (and former leader) of the hard Eurosceptic party Danish People's Party (Dansk Folkeparti), the second-largest represented in the Danish parliament and the most represented in the European Parliament.

The People's Movement against the EU
People's Movement against the EU
only takes part in European Parliament elections and has one member in the European Parliament. The soft Eurosceptic June Movement, originally a split-off from the People's Movement against the EU, existed from 1992 to 2009. In the Danish Parliament, the Unity List has withdrawal from the EU as a policy. The Danish People's Party
Danish People's Party
also advocates withdrawal, but has claimed to support some EU structures such as the internal market, and supported the EU-positive Liberal-Conservative coalition between 2001 and 2011. The Socialist People's Party, minorities within the Social Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party, and some smaller parties were against accession to the European Union
European Union
in 1972. Still in 1986, these parties advocated a no vote in the Single European Act
Single European Act
referendum. Later, the Social Liberal Party changed to a strongly EU-positive party, and EU opposition within the Social Democratic Party faded. The Socialist People's Party were against the Amsterdam Treaty
Amsterdam Treaty
in 1998 and Denmark's joining the euro in 2000, but has become increasingly EU-positive, for example when MEP Margrete Auken
Margrete Auken
left the European United Left–Nordic Green Left and joined The Greens–European Free Alliance in 2004. In the 2014 European Parliament
European Parliament
election, the Danish People's Party came first by a large margin with 26.6% of the vote, gaining 2 extra seats for a total of 4 MEPs. The People's Movement against the EU polled 8.1%, retaining its single MEP. Estonia[edit] The Independence Party and Centre Party were against accession to the EU, but only the Independence Party still wants Estonia to withdraw from the EU. The Conservative People's Party (EKRE) also has some Eurosceptic policies. Finland[edit] The largest Eurosceptic party in Finland is the Finns Party. In the European Parliament
European Parliament
election, 2014, the Finns Party
Finns Party
increased their vote share by 3.1% to 12.9%, adding a second MEP. In Eurobarometer 77 (fieldwork in Spring 2012), 41% of Finns trusted the European Union
European Union
(EU-27 average: 31%), 51% trusted The European Parliament (EU-27average: 40%), and 74% were in favour of the euro currency (EU-27 average: 52%).[citation needed] France[edit] See also: Frexit

Marine Le Pen, prominent French MEP, former leader and former presidential candidate of the National Front (France)
National Front (France)
and of the Europe of Nations and Freedom
Europe of Nations and Freedom
group.

In France
France
there are multiple parties that are Eurosceptic to different degrees, varying from advocating less EU intervention in national affairs, to advocating outright withdrawal from the EU and the Eurozone. These parties belong to all sides of the political spectrum, so the reasons for their Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
may differ. In the past many French people appeared to be uninterested in such matters, with only 40% of the French electorate voting in the 2009 European Parliament elections.[54] Right-wing Eurosceptic parties include the Gaullist Debout la République, and Mouvement pour la France, which was part of Libertas, a pan-European Eurosceptic party.[55] In the 2009 European Parliament elections, Debout la République received 1.77% of the national vote, and Libertas 4.8%. In a similar way to some moderate parties, the French right and far-right in general are naturally opposed to the EU, as they criticise France's loss of political and economic sovereignty to a supranational entity. Some of these hard Eurosceptic parties include the Popular Republican Union and the Front National (FN).[56] Front National and Popular Republican Union both seek France's withdrawal from the EU and the euro, although Popular Republican Union also seeks France's withdrawal from NATO. The FN received 33.9% of votes in the French presidential election, 2017, making it the largest Eurosceptic party in France. Eurosceptic parties on the left in France
France
tend to criticise what they see as the neoliberal agenda of the EU, as well as the elements of its structure which are undemocatic and seen as top-down. These parties include the Parti de Gauche and the French Communist Party, which formed the Front de Gauche for the 2009 European Parliament
European Parliament
elections and received 6.3% of the votes. The leader of the Left Front defends a complete reform of the Monetary Union, rather than the withdrawal of France
France
from the Eurozone.[57] Some of the major far-left Eurosceptic parties in France
France
include the New Anticapitalist Party[58] which received 4.8% and Lutte Ouvrière[59] which received 1.2%. The Citizen and Republican Movement, a left-wing Eurosceptic and souverainist party, have not participated in any elections for the European Parliament. The party Chasse, Pêche, Nature & Traditions, is an agrarianist Eurosceptic party that claims to be neither left nor right. In the European Parliament
European Parliament
election, 2014, the National Front won the elections with 24.85% of the vote, a swing of 18.55%, winning 24 seats, up from 3 previously. The former French President François Hollande had called for the EU to be reformed and for a scaling back of its power.[60] Germany[edit]

This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (November 2017)

" Referendum
Referendum
on saving the euro!" Poster from the party Alternative for Germany
Germany
(AfD) regarding Germany's financial contributions during the Eurozone
Eurozone
crisis

The Alternative for Germany
Germany
(AfD) is Germany's largest Eurosceptic party.[61] It has been elected into the German Parliament with 94 seats in September 2017.[62] Initially the AfD was a soft Eurosceptic party, that considered itself pro-Europe and pro-EU, but opposed the euro, which it believed had undermined European integration.[63] In the European Parliament
European Parliament
election, 2014, the Alternative for Germany came 5th with 7% of the vote, winning 7 seats and is a member of the Eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists. The Alternative for Germany
Germany
went on to take seats in three state legislatures in the Autumn of 2014.[64] The party became purely Eurosceptic in 2015, when a split occurred in the party, leading to Frauke Petry's leadership and a more hard line approach to the European Union.[65] In July 2015 a split from AfD created a new soft Eurosceptic party called Alliance for Progress and Renewal. Greece[edit] Main articles: Greek withdrawal from the Eurozone
Eurozone
and Greek government-debt crisis Golden Dawn, Communist Party of Greece
Greece
(KKE), ANEL, Course of Freedom, Popular Unity, and LAOS are the main Eurosceptic parties in Greece. According to the London School of Economics, Greece
Greece
is the 2nd most Eurosceptic country in the European Union, with 50% (only behind UK) of the Greeks thinking that their country has not benefited at all from the EU. Meanwhile, 33% of the Greeks views Greek membership in EU as a good thing, marginally ahead of UK. 81% of the Greeks say that the EU is going in the wrong direction. These figures represent a major increase in Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in Greece
Greece
since 2009. In June 2012, the Eurosceptic parties in Greece
Greece
that were represented in the parliament before the Election in January 2015 (ANEL, Golden Dawn, KKE) got 45.8% of the votes and 40.3% of the seats in the parliament. In the legislative election of January 2015 the pro-European (left and right-wing) parties (ND, PASOK, Potami, KIDISO, EK and Prasinoi-DIMAR) got 43.28% of the votes. The Eurosceptic parties got 54.64%. The Eurosceptic left (KKE, ANTARSYA-MARS and KKE (M–L)/M–L KKE) got 42.58% of the votes and the Eurosceptic right (Golden Dawn, ANEL
ANEL
and LAOS) got 12.06% of the votes, with Syriza ahead with 36.34%. The Eurosceptic parties got 194 seats in the new parliament and the pro-EU parties got 106 seats.[66] According to the polls conducted in June and July 2015 (12 polls), the Eurosceptic left would get on average 48.03% (excluding extraparliamentary parties as ANTARSYA-MARS and KKE
KKE
(m–l)/ML-KKE), the parliamentary pro-EU parties (Potami, New Democracy and PASOK) would get 33.82%, the extra-parliamentary (not represented in the Hellenic Parliament) pro-EU parties (KIDISO and EK) would get 4.44% and the Eurosceptic right would get 10.2% (excluding extraparliamentary parties, such as LAOS, not displayed on recent opinion polls). The soft Eurosceptic parties would get 42.31%, the hard Eurosceptic parties (including KKE, ANEL
ANEL
and Golden Dawn) would get 15.85%, and the pro-EU parties (including extra-parliamentary parties displayed on opinion polls) would get 38.27% of the votes. In the European Parliament
European Parliament
election, 2014, Syriza
Syriza
won the election with 26.58% of the vote (a swing of 21.88%) taking 6 seats (up 5), with Golden Dawn coming 3rd taking 3 seats, the Communist Party taking 2 seats and the Independent Greeks
Independent Greeks
gaining their first ever seat. Syriza's leader Tsipras said he's not anti-European and does not want to leave the euro. According to The Economist, Tsipras is willing to negotiate with Greece's European partners, and it is believed a Syriza victory could encourage radical leftist parties across Europe. Alexis Tsipras vowed to reverse many of the austerity measures adopted by Greece
Greece
since a series of bailouts began in 2010, at odds with the Eurogroup's positions.[67][68] The current government coalition in Greece
Greece
is composed by Syriza
Syriza
and ANEL
ANEL
(right-wing hard Eurosceptic party, led by Panos Kammenos, who is the current Minister of Defence). Hungary[edit]

Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary

Viktor Orbán
Viktor Orbán
is the soft Eurosceptic[69] Prime Minister of Hungary for the national-conservative Fidesz
Fidesz
Party. A hardline Eurosceptic party in Hungary
Hungary
is Jobbik, a radical, xenophobic and far-right party. In Hungary
Hungary
39% of the population have a positive image of the EU, 20% have a negative image, and 40% neutral (1% "Don't know").[32] In the 2014 Hungarian parliamentary election, Fidesz
Fidesz
got 44.54% of the votes, Jobbik
Jobbik
got 20.54% of the votes and the communist Hungarian Workers' Party got 0.58% of the votes. Thus, Eurosceptic parties in Hungary
Hungary
obtained 65.66% of the votes, one of the highest figures in Europe. The green-liberal Politics Can Be Different
Politics Can Be Different
classifies as a soft or reformist Eurosceptic party given its self-professed euro-critical stance. During the European parliamentary campaign of 2014 party Co-President András Schiffer
András Schiffer
described LMP as having a pronounced pro-integration position on environmental, wage and labour policy however, as supporting member state autonomy on the self-determination of local communities concerning land resources. So as to combat the differentiated integration of the multi-speed Europe which discriminates against Eastern and Southern member states, LMP would like to initiate an eco-social market economy within the union.[70] Ireland[edit] Main article: Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in the Republic of Ireland Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
is a minority view in Ireland, with opinion polls in 2016 indicating around 80% support for membership of the European Union (EU). The Irish people
Irish people
initially voted against ratifying the Nice and Lisbon Treaties. However following renegotiations, second referendums on both were passed with approximately 2:1 majorities in both cases.[71] Some commentators and smaller political groups questioned the validity of the Irish Government's decision to call second referendums.[72][73] The left-wing Irish republican
Irish republican
party Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
expresses soft Eurosceptic positions on the current structure of the European Union and the direction in which it is moving.[citation needed] The party expresses, "support for Europe-wide measures that promote and enhance human rights, equality and the all-Ireland agenda", but has a "principled opposition" to a European superstate.[74] However, in its manifesto for the 2015 UK general election, Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
pledged that the party would campaign for the UK to stay within the EU.[75] In the last European Parliament
European Parliament
election in 2014, Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
won 3 seats coming second with 19.5% of the vote up 8.3%. The Trotskyist organisation, the Socialist Party, supports Ireland leaving the EU and supported the Brexit
Brexit
result.[76] It argues that the European Union
European Union
is institutionally capitalist and neoliberal.[77] The Socialist Party campaigned against the Lisbon and Nice Treaties and favours the foundation of an alternative Socialist European Union.[78] Italy[edit]

Beppe Grillo, leader of the Italian Five Star Movement, a Eurosceptic party.

Matteo Salvini
Matteo Salvini
with the Eurosceptic economist Claudio Borghi Aquilini during No Euro
Euro
Day.

The Five Star Movement
Five Star Movement
(M5S), an anti-establishment movement founded by the former comedian Beppe Grillo, is often considered a Eurosceptic party. The M5S gained 25.5% of vote in the 2013 general election, becoming the largest anti-establishment and Eurosceptic party in Europe. The party also advocates a non-binding referendum on the withdrawal of Italy from the Eurozone
Eurozone
(but not from the European Union) and the return to the lira.[79] The M5S's popular support is evenly distributed all across Italy, but in 2013 the party was particularly strong in Sicily, Liguria and Marche, where it gained more than 30% of the vote. Another Eurosceptic party is Lega Nord, a regionalist movement led by Matteo Salvini
Matteo Salvini
favouring Italy's exit from the Eurozone
Eurozone
and the re-introduction of the lira. When in government, LN however approved the Treaty of Lisbon.[80] The party won 6.2% of the vote in the 2014 European Parliament
European Parliament
elections, but two of its leading members are presidents of Lombardy
Lombardy
and Veneto
Veneto
(where LN gained 40.9% of the vote in 2015). In the European Parliament election, 2014
European Parliament election, 2014
the Five Star Movement
Five Star Movement
came second, gaining 17 seats and 21.2% of the vote in contesting EP seats for the first time. Lega Nord
Lega Nord
took 5 seats and The Other Europe
The Other Europe
with Tsipras gained 3 seats. Other minor eurosceptic organizations include right-wing political parties (e.g., Brothers of Italy
Brothers of Italy
[81], Tricolour Flame[82], New Force[83], National Front[84], CasaPound[85], National Movement for Sovereignty, the No Euro
Euro
Movement), left-wing political parties (e.g., the Communist Party of Marco Rizzo[86], the Italian Communist Party[87]) and other political movements (e.g., the Sovereignist Front[88], MMT Italy[89]). In addition, the European Union
European Union
is criticized (especially for the austerity and the creation of the euro) by some left-wing thinkers, like the trade unionist Giorgio Cremaschi[90] and the journalist Paolo Barnard[91], and some academics, such as the economists Alberto Bagnai[92][93] and Vladimiro Giacchè[94], the philosopher Diego Fusaro[95] and the mathematician Marino Badiale.[96] According to 22 opinion polls conducted in July 2017, the pro-EU parties that were polled (Democratic Party, Forza Italia, Democrats and Progressives and Popular Alternative) would get, on average, 46.64% of the votes, while the Eurosceptic parties (Five Star Movement, Lega Nord, Us with Salvini, Italian Left
Italian Left
and Brothers of Italy) would get 49.02% of the votes. According to the Standard Eurobarometer 87 conducted by the European Commission
European Commission
in the spring of 2017, 48% of Italians
Italians
tend not to trust the European Union
European Union
compared to 36% of Italians
Italians
who trust it.[97] Latvia[edit] The National Alliance (For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK/All for Latvia!), Union of Greens and Farmers
Union of Greens and Farmers
and For Latvia
Latvia
from the Heart are parties that are described by some political commentators as bearing soft Eurosceptic views[98]. A small hard Eurosceptic party Eurosceptic Party of Action exists, but it has failed to gain any administrative seats throughout history of its existence. Lithuania[edit] The Order and Justice
Order and Justice
party has mainly Eurosceptic views.[99] Luxembourg[edit] The Alternative Democratic Reform Party
Alternative Democratic Reform Party
is a soft Eurosceptic party.[100] It is a member of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists. Malta[edit] Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views were Labour Party and Libertas Malta. The Labour Party was not in favour of Malta entering the European Union. However, it was in favour of a partnership with the EU. After a long battle, the Nationalist Party led by Eddie Fenech Adami won the referendum and the following election, making Malta one of the states to enter the European Union
European Union
on 1 May 2004. The party is now pro-European. The Libertas Party is inactive, as of 2016. Netherlands[edit] See also: Dutch withdrawal from the European Union

Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom, a hardline Dutch Eurosceptic party and a prominent anti-Islamic radicalism party.

Historically, the Netherlands
Netherlands
have been a very pro-European country, being one of the six founding members of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952, and campaigning with much effort to include the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
into the Community in the 1970s and others after that. It has become slightly more Eurosceptic in the 2000s, rejecting the European Constitution in 2005 and complaining about the relatively high financial investment into the Union or the democratic deficit amongst other issues.

The nationalist Party for Freedom
Party for Freedom
(founded in 2006) wants the Netherlands
Netherlands
to leave the EU in its entirety, because it believes the EU is undemocratic, costs money and cannot close the borders for immigrants.[101] The Socialist Party believes the European Union
European Union
has already brought Europe 50 years of peace and prosperity, and argues that European co-operation is essential for tackling global problems like climate change and international crime. However, the SP opines that the current Union is dominated by the big businesses and the big countries, while the labour movement, consumer organisations and smaller companies are often left behind. "Neoliberal" measures have supposedly increased social inequality, and perhaps the Union is expanding too fast and taking on too much power in issues that should be dealt with on a national level.[102] The conservative Protestant Reformed Political Party
Reformed Political Party
and the Christian Union favour co-operation within Europe, but reject a superstate, especially one that is dominated by Catholics, or that infringes on religious rights and/or privileges. The ecologist Party for the Animals
Party for the Animals
favours European co-operation, but believes the current EU does not respect animal rights enough and should have a more active policy on environment protection.

Despite these concerns, in 2014 the majority of the Dutch electorate continued to support parties that favour ongoing European integration: the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats, the Liberals, but most of all the (Liberal) Democrats.[103] In 2016, a substantial majority in a low-turnout referendum rejected the ratification of an EU trade and association treaty with Ukraine.[104][105] Poland[edit]

Jarosław Kaczyński, Leader of Law and Justice
Law and Justice
and former Prime Minister of Poland.

"Trumna dla rybaków" ("Coffin for fishermen"). A sign visible on the sides of many Polish fishing boats. It depicts an obscene Slavic gesture. Polish fishermen protest against the EU's prohibition of cod fishing on Polish ships.

Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views are Liberty, Congress of the New Right, National Movement (together with Real Politics Union) and Law and Justice, the current ruling party in Poland. The former president of Poland
Poland
Lech Kaczyński
Lech Kaczyński
resisted the signature of the Treaty of Lisbon, namely in what concerned to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Subsequently, Poland
Poland
got an opt-out from this charter. As Polish President, Kaczyński also slammed the Polish government's intentions to join the eurozone.[106][107] In 2015, it was reported that Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
was growing in Poland, which was thought to be due to the "economic crisis, concern over perceived interference from Brussels and migration". Polish president Andrzej Duda
Andrzej Duda
indicated that he wished for Poland
Poland
to step back from further EU integration. He suggested the country would "hold a referendum on joining the euro, resist further integration and fight the EU’s green policies".[108] Portugal[edit] The main Eurosceptic parties in Portugal
Portugal
are National Renovator Party (PNR), Portuguese Communist Party
Portuguese Communist Party
(PCP), and Left Bloc
Left Bloc
(BE). Opinion polling in Portugal
Portugal
in 2015 indicated that 48 per cent tended not to trust the EU,[10] while 79 per cent tended not to trust the Portuguese government (then lead by Portugal
Portugal
Ahead).[34] Eurosceptic political parties hold a combined total of 34 seats out of 230 in Portugal's parliament (BE 19, PCP 15, PNR 0) and a combined total of 4 out of Portugal's 21 seats in the European parliament (PCP 3, BE 1, PNR 0). In the last European Parliament
European Parliament
election, 2014, the Portuguese Communist Party won three seats and the Left Bloc
Left Bloc
won one seat. Romania[edit] Several parties espousing Eurosceptic views exist on the right, such as the New Republic the Greater Romania Party
Greater Romania Party
and Noua Dreaptă, but as of August 2016 none of these parties are represented in European Parliament. Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
is relatively unpopular in Romania; all mainstream political parties are pro-European and a 2015 survey found 65% of Romanians had a positive view of the country's EU membership.[109] Slovakia[edit] Parties with primarily hard Eurosceptic views represented in the National Council are People's Party - Our Slovakia
People's Party - Our Slovakia
and We Are Family. Prominent Slovak Eurosceptic politicians include Richard Sulík, Boris Kollár and Marian Kotleba. Soft Eurosceptic views are represented in Freedom and Solidarity, Slovak National Party, Ordinary People and Independent Personalities and New Majority. Slovenia[edit] Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views are Slovenian National Party
Slovenian National Party
and United Left. Spain[edit] Candidatura d'Unitat Popular, a left-wing to far-left political party with about 1,300 members,[110] advocates independence for Catalonia outside of the European Union. Spain
Spain
was one of the few countries to vote Yes for the European Constitution in a referendum in February 2005, though by a lower margin in Catalonia
Catalonia
and the Basque Country.[111] However, trust in the EU later declined. As of 2015[update], according to a Eurobarometer public opinion survey, 61 per cent of the Spanish people did not trust the EU, compared to 25% that trust it (14% "don't know").[10] Sweden[edit]

Anti-EU posters in Sweden

The Left Party of Sweden
Sweden
is against accession to the European Union and wants Sweden
Sweden
to leave the European Union.[112] The right-wing populist party Sweden
Sweden
Democrats are also strongly against the Union and favour withdrawal from the EEA.[113] The June List, a Eurosceptic list consisting of members from both the political right and left won three seats in the 2004 Elections to the European Parliament
European Parliament
and sat in the EU-critical IND/DEM group in the European Parliament. The movement Folkrörelsen Nej till EU (sv) favours a withdrawal from the EU. Around 80% of the Riksdag
Riksdag
members represent parties that officially supports the Sweden
Sweden
membership. In the European Parliament
European Parliament
election, 2014, the Sweden
Sweden
Democrats gained 2 seats with 9.67% of the vote, up 6.4%, and the Left Party took one seat with 6.3% of the vote. United Kingdom[edit] Main articles: Brexit
Brexit
and Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in the United Kingdom

Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party
UK Independence Party
and co-leader of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy
group in the European Parliament. Farage is one of the most prominent Eurosceptic figures in the UK.

Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
has been a significant element in British politics since the inception of the European Economic Community (EEC), the predecessor to the EU. The European Union strongly divides the British public, political parties, media and civil society.[114] The UK Independence Party
UK Independence Party
has backed the idea of the UK's unilaterally leaving the European Union
European Union
(Brexit) since its inception.[115] During the 23 June 2016 referendum on the issue, the Conservatives had no official position on the issue; although its leader David Cameron
David Cameron
was in favour of remaining in the EU, the party was divided on the issue.[116][117] The Labour Party officially supported remaining in the EU, although party leader Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn
did suggest early on in the campaign that he would consider withdrawal.[118][119] The Liberal Democrats were the most adamantly pro-EU party, and since the referendum, pro- Europeanism has been their main policy.[120] The referendum resulted in an overall vote to leave the EU, as opposed to remaining an EU member, by 51.9% to 48.1%, on a turnout of 72.2%.[121] The vote was split between the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, with a majority in England
England
and Wales
Wales
voting to leave, and a majority in Scotland
Scotland
and Northern Ireland, as well as Gibraltar
Gibraltar
(a British Overseas Territory), voting to remain.[122] As a result of the referendum, "We are the 48 percent" has become a pro-EU slogan among those who voted to remain in the EU.[123][124] Euroscepticism
Euroscepticism
in other possible members[edit] Iceland[edit] The three main Eurosceptic parties in Iceland are the Independence Party, Left-Green Movement
Left-Green Movement
and the Progressive Party. The Independence Party and the Progressive Party won the parliamentary election in April 2013 and they have halted the current negotiations with the European Union
European Union
regarding Icelandic membership and tabled a parliamentary resolution on 21 February 2014 to withdraw the application completely.[125][126] Moldova[edit] The two main Eurosceptic parties in Moldova are the left-wing Party of Socialists of the Republic of Moldova, which officially declared its main purpose to be the integration of Moldova in the Eurasian Economic Union and the Party of Communists of the Republic of Moldova, even if nowadays its leader speech became more soft on the issue of Euroscepticism. As of November 2014 both parties are represented in Moldovan Parliament, with 45 MPs out of a total of 101 MPs.[citation needed] Montenegro[edit] All parliamentary parties in Montenegro officially support the country's bid for accession to the European Union. The only party that rejected the European integration
European integration
and instead publicly advocates a tighter political and economic integration with Russia was the non-parliamentary far-right party Serb List. Norway[edit] See also: Norway– European Union
European Union
relations Norway has rejected EU membership in two referendums, 1972 and 1994. The Centre Party, Christian Democratic Party, Socialist Left Party and Liberal Party were against EU membership in both referendums. The Centre Party, Socialist Left Party, Capitalist Party, Christians and Red Party are also against Norway's current membership of the European Economic Area.[127] Russia[edit] See also: Russia– European Union
European Union
relations

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
is an outspoken Eurosceptic who has successfully promoted an alternative Economic Union with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
– the Eurasian Economic Union.

Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views are the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, United Russia
United Russia
and Liberal Democratic Party of Russia. Following the 2014 Crimean crisis, the European Union
European Union
issued sanctions on the Russian Federation "in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country".[128] In response to this, Alexey Borodavkin – Russia's permanent representative with the UN – said "The EU is committing a direct violation of human rights by its actions against Russia. The unilateral sanctions introduced against us are not only illegitimate according to international law, they also undermine Russian citizens' freedom of travel, freedom of development, freedom of work and others".[129] In the same year, Russian president Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
said: "What are the so-called European values? Maintaining the coup, the armed seizure of power and the suppression of dissent with the help of the armed forces?"[130] San Marino[edit] A referendum was held in the landlocked microstate on 20 October 2013 in which the citizens were asked whether the country should submit an application to join the European Union. The proposal was rejected because of a low turnout, even if 50.3% of voters approved it. The "Yes" campaign was supported by the main left-wing parties (Socialist Party, United Left) and the Union for the Republic whereas the Sammarinese Christian Democratic Party
Sammarinese Christian Democratic Party
suggested voting with a blank ballot, the Popular Alliance declared itself neutral, and We Sammarinese and the RETE movement supported the "No" campaign. The Citizens' Rights Directive, which defines the right of free movement for the European citizens, may have been an important reason for those voting no.[131][132][133] Serbia[edit] Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views are Serbian Radical Party, Democratic Party of Serbia, Dveri
Dveri
and Serbian People's Party of Nenad Popović. Switzerland[edit] See also: Switzerland– European Union
European Union
relations Switzerland
Switzerland
has long been known for its neutrality in international politics. Swiss voters rejected EEA membership in 1992, and EU membership in 2001. Despite the passing of several referendums calling for closer relations between Switzerland
Switzerland
and the European Union
European Union
such as the adoption of bilateral treaties and the joining of the Schengen Area, a second referendum of the joining of the EEA or the EU is not expected,[134] and the general public remains opposed to joining.[135] In February 2014, the Swiss voters narrowly approved a referendum limiting the freedom of movement of EU citizens to Switzerland. Eurosceptic political parties include the Swiss People's Party, which is the largest political party in Switzerland, with 29.4% of the popular vote as of the 2015 federal election. Smaller Eurosceptic parties include, but are not limited to, the Federal Democratic Union, the Ticino League, and the Geneva Citizens' Movement, all of which are considered right-wing parties. In addition, the Campaign for an Independent and Neutral Switzerland is a political organisation in Switzerland
Switzerland
that is strongly opposed to the European Union.[136][137] Regionally, the German-speaking majority of Switzerland
Switzerland
is the most Eurosceptic, while the French-speaking Switzerland
Switzerland
tends to be more pro-EU. However, in the 2001 referendum, the majority of French-speakers voted against EU membership.[138] According to a 2016 survey conducted by M.I.S Trend and published in L'Hebdo, 69 percent of the Swiss population supports systematic border controls, and 53 percent want restrictions on the EU accord of the free movements of peoples and 14 percent want it completely abolished.[139] However, 54% of the Swiss population said that if necessary, they would ultimately keep the freedom of movement of people's accord.[139] Turkey[edit] The two main Eurosceptic parties are the far-right ultranationalist, Nationalist Movement Party
Nationalist Movement Party
(MHP), which secured 16.29% of votes, and 40 seats in the Parliament at the last election, and the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi), a far-right Sunni Islamist party, which has no seats in the Parliament, as it only secured 0.68% of the votes in the last election, far below the 10% threshold necessary to be represented in the Parliament. Many left-wing nationalist and far-left parties hold no seats at parliament but they control many activist and student movements in Turkey. The Patriotic Party (formerly called Workers' Party) consider the European Union
European Union
as a frontrunner of global imperialism.[140][141] Ukraine[edit] See also: Ukraine– European Union
European Union
relations

Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the Ukrainian hard Eurosceptic party Right Sector.

Parties with mainly Eurosceptic views are Party of Regions, Communist Party of Ukraine
Ukraine
and Right Sector. The far-right Ukrainian group Right Sector
Right Sector
opposes joining the European Union. It regards the EU as an "oppressor" of European nations.[142] See also[edit]

European Referendum
Referendum
Campaign Europeanism Fourth Reich Institutions of the European Union Pro-Europeanism United States of Europe Withdrawal from the European Union

Footnotes[edit]

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as a Transnational and Pan-European Phenomenon. Taylor & Francis, 2016. p.133 ^ Han Werts, Marcel Lubbers, and Peer Scheepers (2013) Euro-scepticism and radical right-wing voting in Europe, 2002–2008: Social cleavages, socio-political attitudes and contextual characteristics determining voting for the radical right, European Union
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References[edit]

Robert Harmsen; Menno Spiering, eds. (2004). Euroscepticism: Party Politics, National Identity and European Integration. Rodopi. ISBN 90-420-1946-8.  Aleks Szczerbiak; Paul Taggart (2008). Opposing Europe?: The Comparative Party Politics of Euroscepticism. 1: Case Studies and Country Surveys. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-153162-0.  Florian Hartleb (2015). A Thorn in the Side of European Elites: The New Euroscepticism. Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies. ISBN 978-2-930632-09-4. 

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