Public Support for the EU in Times of Crisis and the Drivers of Euroscepticism
In the context of the economic, political and social crises that unfolded during the recent years, the European Union had to withstand a growing pressure from the part of its dissatisfied citizens. The long-term effects of the economic crisis, the limited ability to manage refugee flows or the difficulty to come up with joint solutions to pressing issues have highlighted the shortcoming of the EU as a political system, while also giving rise to growing criticism from EU citizens and the loss of their trust. The 2016 referendum vote of British citizens that subsequently led to what came to be known as “Brexit” could be perceived both as a crisis and as an outcome of the growing popular dissatisfaction and protest from the part of British citizens. Consequently, the present article aims to explore the connections between recent crises and the evolution of European citizens’ attitudes in relation to the EU and the integration process as a whole. This perspective could ultimately shed some light on the roots and drivers of Euroscepticism in the context of an inability of the EU as a political system to channel the solidarity of Member States towards common solutions and to cope with the existing social, economic, and cultural divisions in Europe.
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