Comparing Euroscepticism in Poland and the Czech Republic
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject Politics - International Politics - Region: Eastern Europe, grade: A, Charles University in Prague (Sociology Faculty), language: English, abstract: The enlargement of the European Union is scheduled for May 2004, only a few weeks from today. While all the political treaties are signed, the accession parties are prepared as big media events and the decision of ten new members entering the Union is widely accepted, there are quite a few issues that have not been discussed thoroughly enough yet; and public opinion as well as party politics do show some traces of Euroscepticism here and there. Although the mainstream voice in the Western countries is warmly welcoming their neighbours to the East, fears of economic loss through their entrance are keeping publics in the 'old' member states critical concerning the future. The new members to the East on the other hand are regularly portrayed as welcoming the idea of joining the Union without even the slightest concerns - not only by the media but also by numerous scholars. After all, it's them who will profit from the enlargement. They almost seem desperate. This essay will show however that Euroscepticism is not a purely Western phenomenon. Publics in the candidate countries do have fears and concerns that often overshadow their genuine approval of the European integration process as well as their Western neighbours. These public opinions are also mirrored in party-based Euroscepticism that in some countries even raised single- issueanti- EU parties. This essay will now focus on two countries that encompass two completely different types of Euroscepticism. First, there is Poland, which has always been seen as the country wanting to join the European Union the most desperately.
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