Halting Support for the EU

  • Jo RitzenEmail author
  • Klaus F. Zimmermann


The stark reality is that the EU, in its present form, is unlikely to survive the next 10–25 years. The EU of today, which provides for long-term peace and prosperity, faces an existential threat linked to recent voting in elections and referendums. Euroscepticism appears to have almost doubled in the period 2006–2016, from roughly 12% to 30% of the population (although Eurobarometer’s measure of Euroscepticism, at around 16%, has been more or less constant since 2011). These are EU citizens who do not believe that the EU has been good for them or their country. Many among them are likely to be the “losers of globalisation”. They are people who are uncertain of the future, for themselves or their children. A statistical analysis of Eurosceptic data highlights future uncertainty as a likely source of resistance to the EU. Euroscepticism has become visible in referendums on Europe; most notably with Brexit. There is therefore a need to realign the direct democracy of referendums with the indirect democracy of parliamentary representation; that is, if the EU is to serve its purpose as a “machine” for peace, security and welfare. The bottom line is that without further action Euroscepticism as a major “centrifugal” force is likely to increase in the years ahead, potentially giving rise to more exits or a complete and chaotic end to the EU.


Income Inequality Direct Democracy Maastricht Treaty Financial Uncertainty Financial Expectation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.BundeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.BonnGermany

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