A comparative approach to euroscepticism in Turkey and Eastern European Countries
Taraktaş, Başak (2008) A comparative approach to euroscepticism in Turkey and Eastern European Countries. Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 16 (2). pp. 249-266. ISSN 1478-2790 (electronic) 1478-2804 (paper)
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14782800802309987
The pre-accession strategy, by challenging national sovereignty, erodes motivations for EU membership in the candidate countries, hence arising nationalistic reactions. Euroscepticism manifests itself in various forms depending on the way the country undergoes the transition, the domestic meaning of the accession and the country-specific patterns of euroscepticism. The Central and Eastern European countries mostly display great motivations for accession. The gap between expectations and the EU's functioning feed public euroscepticism. Mainstream party consensus however, often filters euroscepticism. Turkey distinguishes by an overall mistrust at both public and party level. The EU's reform demands and the European reluctance for Turkish accession have generated mistrust, focusing the 'EU debate' on the cost of accession. At public level, mistrust has fed the idea of an 'EU threat' around which the different spheres of the society have come together to oppose EU membership. At party level, mistrust caused parties from fully embracing the EU prospective, which the 2002 elections exemplify. The Turkish case thus illustrates how the uncertainty of the accession affects public opinion and party positioning on the EU issue.
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