Euroskepticism Arrives: The Missing Debate

Issue Date October 2014
Volume 25
Issue 4
Page Numbers 88-95
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Looking at the worrying rise of Euroskeptic and some extremist parties in the European Parliament elections of May 2014, this article recalls Ralf Dahrendorf’s distinction between constitutional and normal politics, noting also his reliance on Karl Popper. It then argues that the EU should deconstitutionalize the issue of central versus local power by abandoning the dogma of “more Europe” and making it possible to advocate fewer powers for Brussels without thereby having to become anti-EU. Mainstream parties in Europe must be willing to host views that favor decentralization. Britain’s desire for a renegotiation of its status within the EU should be treated as an opportunity to put greater flexibility into EU political life. Germany should be the first country to grasp and carry forward this opportunity.

About the Author

João Carlos Espada is the founder and director of the Institute for Political Studies at the Catholic University of Portugal. From 2011 to 2013, he held the European Parliament/Bronisław Geremek European Civilisation Chair at the College of Europe, Natolin (Warsaw).

View all work by João Carlos Espada