Eurosceptical Parties’ Attitudes towards the Conflict in Ukraine: Implications for the EU’s External Actions
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Politechnika Opolska
Publication date: 2015-09-30
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(3):245-265
This paper reviews the attitudes that Eurosceptical parties represented in the European Parliament hold towards the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. An analysis of party policy programmes and statements of the main Eurosceptical politicians reveals three groups of views developed among Eurosceptical parties as regards the conflict in Ukraine: pro-Ukrainian, neutral and pro-Russian. Furthermore, the analysis indicated that parties within each subcategory held both common and unique attitudes towards the conflict. In light of this analysis, the article discusses the possible implications for the EU’s external action. An increase in public support for those parties could impoverish the Eastern Partnership, limit sanctions against Russia or terminate the Kremlin’s isolation. The latter effect could give the impression to Western European Member States that Russia has a right to make decisions about the future of the entire post-soviet region. As a result, it is unlikely that the Eurosceptical parties will gain power. Instead it is more likely that the mainstream parties will absorb parts of the radical Eurosceptics’ programmes.
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