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DEBATING EUROPE SERIES Seminar 4: EUROSCEPTICISM: CRITICAL THINKING IN THE UK LEE MCGOWAN QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST.

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Presentation on theme: "DEBATING EUROPE SERIES Seminar 4: EUROSCEPTICISM: CRITICAL THINKING IN THE UK LEE MCGOWAN QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST."— Presentation transcript:

1 DEBATING EUROPE SERIES Seminar 4: EUROSCEPTICISM: CRITICAL THINKING IN THE UK LEE MCGOWAN QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY BELFAST

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3  Euroscepticism 'expresses the idea of contingent or qualified opposition, as well as incorporating outright and unqualified opposition to the process of European integration‘ (Taggart 1998: 366)  But need to be more precise  1 - Hard Euroscepticism implies outright rejection of the entire project of European political and economic integration and opposition to their country joining or remaining members of the EU’  2 - Soft Euroscepticism involves contingent or qualified opposition to European integration and can, in turn be further sub-divided into 'policy' Euroscepticism and 'national interest‘ Euroscepticism’ (Taggart and Szczerbiak 2001)

4 EUROPHILEEUROPHOBE Support for the EU EU OptimistEuroenthusiasts europragmatists EU PessimistEuroscepticsEurorejects

5  Euroscepticism has become major theme within both parliamentary and public discourse  Need to understand context and country under investigation  UK PUBLIC DEBATE in 1980s  1985 in The Times (Harmsen and Spiering, 2004) Anti-marketeers had been widely used term  Thatcher speech in Bruges, 1988  Maastricht Treaty, eurosceptics

6 HOW TO MEASURE: 3 DOMAINS OF EUROSCEPTICISM 11 POLITICS (discourse within national parties and interest groups on the EU) 22 POLICIES (where policies set at the EU level impact on the MS – e.g agriculture, fisheries, euro, immigration) 33 CITIZEN/PUBLIC OPINION (and wider cultural aspects)citizen. `Uncorking the anti-EU bottle’ (Hix) from early 1990s - referenda – (1975 on EEC) but nothing since in the UK case when EU has evolved – hence current demands

7  CONSERVATIVES – more eurosceptical ◦ Thatcher’s first EEC summit in Strasbourg in 1979 – ‘she was hostile to the European Community form the beginning’ (Giscard in Moore, 447) ◦ “Far from joining a prosperous trading bloc, we shackled ourselves to a corpse. We are now actually having to pay to prop up a zombie currency we didn’t even join.” (Douglas Carswell) ◦ Cameron pledge (January, 2013) to hold a referendum if.... And things moved fast  UKIP AND FARRAGE FACTOR ◦ ◦ Response to Van Rompuy ◦ ◦ ‘Dangerous people’ - WHO DO YOU PEOPLE THINK YOU ARE?

8  LABOUR PARTY – BLAIR COULD NOT DELIVER ON EURO – FEEDS INTO DICSUSSIONS OF UK as an ‘awkward partner’, ‘semi-detached’  LIBERAL DEMOCRATS  PARTIES IN NORTHERN IRELAND  MEPs from NI. Debates and Presence?  FACTS: Clear shift to more critical position on EU membership over time ◦ May 2001 – 68% wanted to remain in UK to 19% wanted to leave – regional variations!!!!  1975 EEC Referendum where 66% voted to stay in the Common Market

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10 19%. 19%.

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12  1973 – ENTRY  EU GOVERNANCE (via Treaties)  INADEQUATE DISSEMINATION BY SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS ◦ COMPLEX? ◦ INCOMPREHENSIBLE? ◦ ELITE DRIVE? ◦ UNDEMOCRATIC?  ROLE OF MEDIA NEEDS EVALUATED  VACUUM FOR ANTI-EU STORIES TO APPEAR

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14  INFORMATION/MISINFORMATION/DISINFORM ATION  KNOWLEDGE OF EU (especially among young)  Does EU matter?  Is there a better model for inter-state cooperation?  What is in the referendum?  What can be re-negotiated  What happens if the UK were to leave  Does a NO vote or eurosceptic drift actually threaten the UK union?  UK cultural links to continent - language

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18  NOT SAME AS EEC  POST LISBON: COMPETENCES – ◦ 5 exclusive to the Union ◦ Shared ◦ Marginal  POWERS FOR THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT ◦ OLP: CO-LEGISLATOR  MORE TRANSPARENCY  CITIZENS PETITION  SEEKING GREATER ENGAGEMENT

19  1973 – entry into EEC  NI AND EU – Direct rule – marginal interest for many?  1975 – MAJORITY JUST VOTED YES in NI ◦ Difference then between two main communities  MEPs – hear about elections to the EP and then?  Funds and grants – CAP, CFP, URBAN INTERREG  By 2002 – greater support – 2 main communities aligned and greater support for EU in NI than in GB - confirmed in 2008 EB  Still marginal issue - Barroso Task Force

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