is a general term used to describe
opposition and criticism of the European
(EU), and the process of European integration
. The sometimes
derogatory term europhilia
is occasionally seen as an antonym.
Similar to the criticism
of the United Nations
, opposition to the European Union exists
throughout the political spectrum; Adapting to political ideologies
for various justifications and oppositions. The fundamental
criticisms of the EU, percive it as being a corrupt, undemocratic,
uneconomic, and overwhelmingly bueracratic
A Eurobarometer survey of EU citizens in 2009
showed that support for membership of the EU was lowest in Latvia, the
Kingdom, and Hungary.
EU citizens attitudes towards the EU (Eurobarometer survey
A survey in showed that within the European Union overall, the
majority of EU citizens support their country's membership: over
50% think their country's membership is a good thing, and only 15 %
think it is a bad thing. Attitudes vary greatly between countries.
Support is greatest in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and
Ireland, with about 70%–80% thinking that membership is a good
thing.Scepticism is highest in Latvia, the United Kingdom, and
Hungary, with only 25%–32% viewing membership as a good thing.In
Britain, opinions are divided, fairly evenly, between those who
think that membership is a good thing, a bad thing, or neither good
The majority of citizens (56%) believe that membership of the EU
has benefited their country, while a significant minority (31%)
believe that their country has not benefited. Belief that the
citizen's country has benefited from EU membership is lowest (below
50%) in the UK, Hungary, Latvia, Italy, Austria, Sweden and
About a half of EU citizens tend to trust the European Parliament
(48%), and a significant minority (36%) do not tend to trust
it.Trust is highest in Slovakia, Belgium, Malta, Denmark, Estonia,
Romania, Bulgaria, and Luxembourg; it is lowest in the UK (22%) and
Latvia (40%).Trust in the European Commission and the ECB is
A positive to neutral image of the EU dominates, with about 46% of
citizens having a positive image and only 16% having a negative
image; about 36% have a neutral image.
History in the European Parliament
A study analyzed voting records of the Fifth European Parliament
and ranked groups, concluding: "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)".
37 Members of the
European Parliament (MEPs) from the UK, Poland, Denmark and Sweden founded a
Parliament group called “Independence and Democracy” from
the old Europe of
Democracies and Diversities (EDD) group.
The main goals of the ID group were to reject the proposed Treaty
establishing a constitution for Europe
. Some delegations within
the group, notably the United Kingdom Independence
, also advocate the complete withdrawal of their country
from the EU whilst others only wish to limit further European integration
elections in 2009
saw a significant drop in some areas in support for Eurosceptic
parties, with all MEPs from Poland, Denmark and Sweden losing their
However, in the UK, the eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence
achieved second place in the elections, finishing ahead
of the governing Labour
party. Although new members
joined the ID group from Greece and the
Netherlands, it remains unclear as to whether the ID group will
reform in the new parliament.
The ID group reformed as
Europe of Freedom and
(EFD) and is represented by 32 MEP's from 9
The Unity Party
and Socialist People's Party
(Greens) were against accession to the European Union, but only the
Unity Party has withdrawal from the EU as a policy. The new right
wing Danish People's Party
also advocate withdrawal.
The Independence Party
and Centre Party
accession to the EU, but only the Independence Party still wants
Estonia to withdraw from the European Union.
The Left Party of Sweden
against accession to the European Union and still want Sweden to
leave the European Union.
is a eurosceptic party which
earlier was represented in the European parliament but lost all
representation at the 2009 European Elections.
In the United Kingdom
In Britain, the Labour Party base is more eurosceptic than the
party elite, which is something the Conservative leadership has
sought to exploit.
Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom (UK) is a very controversial issue and has been a
significant element in British politics since the inception of the
Community (EEC), the predecessor to the EU.
The United Kingdom
(UKIP) is the most prominent of all UK
eurosceptic parties and fourth largest British political party ,
receiving 16.5% of the vote at the 2009
European Parliament elections
, putting them in second place
ahead of the governing Labour
. In the same elections, the nationalist and eurosceptic
British National Party
also for the first time elected into the European parliament.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia pacific/6662679.stm
- After Enlargement: "Voting Behaviour in the Sixth
European Parliament" by Simon Hix and Abdul Noury
- Opposing Europe? By Aleks Szczerbiak, Paul A. Taggart page
- The European Union handbook By Jackie Gower, Ian Thomson page