Euroscepticism: A Cross-National Perspective: Germany, The Netherlands, and The United Kingdom


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Virginia Tech


This master's thesis examines public euroscepticism in three case studies: Germany, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It argues that relevant literature lacks consistency and continuity because of the narrow scope in which the phenomenon has been observed in terms of the factors related to euroscepticism. The aim of this thesis is to solve this problem by performing a more holistic examination; by marrying previously accumulated knowledge on euroscepticism, public opinion data provided by the Eurobarometer and European Union Parliamentary Election results all in an effort to demonstrate the variability both in the factors related to euroscepticism and relevant attitudes over time

This thesis examines euroscepticism from a multidimensional perspective. It does this by performing a cross-national longitudinal trend study, observing factors related to euroscepticism: political parties, economics, migration, national identity and national sovereignty from 1994 to 2014. Compiling and observing this body of data, it is expected, will confirm or reject the argument that the causes and degrees of euroscepticism fluctuate over time and amongst member states. Having confirmed this fact may spur further investigation of the phenomenon and encourage the European Union to identify policy areas which could nurture closer relations with its European citizens in an effort to gain further legitimacy. Democratic legitimacy also means a Europe which listens to the expectations of its citizens and addresses their concerns through adequate policies. For any of its policies, including enlargement, the EU has to win the support of its citizens.European Commission, Enlargement report (2006: 23)



Euroscepticism, Eurosceptic, European Union, European Project