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Friday, July 19, 2024

Populism: Spectre Haunting Above European Union

It is a popular misconception that the system has been hijacked by a powerful elite and that politicians are on their payroll, resulting in the breakdown of the social contract that exists between people and authorities. Populists, on the other hand, were considered a credible alternative because all other ideologies had either failed in the past or were currently in disarray. Populists believe that ordinary people's skepticism and dissatisfaction may be explained more effectively.

Throughout, the previous decade proved tough for European integration due to the recurring occurrence of catastrophic disasters in the European Union. Various crises such as the financial meltdown, the Eurozone debt meltdown, the migration crisis, and the Covid pandemic have all revealed the liberal order’s shortcomings. It is a popular misconception that the system has been hijacked by a powerful elite and that politicians are on their payroll, resulting in the breakdown of the social contract that exists between people and authorities. Populism, on the other hand, were considered a credible alternative because all other ideologies had either failed in the past or were currently in disarray.

Populists believe that ordinary people’s skepticism and dissatisfaction may be explained more effectively. In their opinion, Europe will not benefit from the liberal system, which is skewed to the left, because evil in the world must be fought with militancy and aggression, rather than diplomacy and benignity, as being currently practiced by the European Union, they said. Over the last few years, Euroscepticism has gained momentum, with populist leaders blaming the EU as being the primary source of their muddled sense of national identities.

Read more: European Union lauds Pakistan’s successful fight against COVID-19

Is the EU manipulating its people?

It is their belief that the EU has induced guilt in the minds of the populace in order to legitimize universalism, which is skeptical of nationalist ideologies and values. The European Union’s failings in resolving the European crisis, as well as the growing polarization between Eastern and Central Europe, have fostered populist discourse across Europe, particularly in the United Kingdom. Countries in Eastern Europe, such as Poland and Hungary, have had electoral success under populist administrations.

A study of the surge in support for Eurosceptic populist parties in Europe is necessary since academics and many European leaders consider it a threat to the unity of the European Union (EU). The chairman of KPMG, John Veihmeyer, has described populism as the most serious threat to the stability of the continent of Europe. The European Union (EU) has long been regarded as the cornerstone of European peace, prosperity, and stability, and with excellent purpose. The European Union has always been successful in resolving multilateral concerns that have arisen in the continent. But terrorism and migration have exposed the system’s flaws, resulting in a vacuum for populist political groups to fill.

Populist parties are Eurosceptic because they believe that the European Union is at the root of all of Europe’s problems. They advocate for the disintegration of Europe, with each country retaining its own nationalistic identity and culture. However, when examining Brexit, it becomes clear that the importance of these parties is expanding. An independent party in the United Kingdom has proposed the concept of a vote on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union.

Read more: Hungary PM says does not want a European Union led by France

David Cameron announced a vote in the United Kingdom

This example demonstrates how important these parties are in the decision-making process in Europe. Once these parties gain control of the government, they will very certainly withdraw from the European Union, as evidenced by their rallies, chants, and party platforms, among other things. However, the true difficulty will arise after the breakup of the European Union, because Europe has always been engulfed in nationalistic battles, which will reemerge as soon as the EU is dismantled.

Furthermore, despite the fact that they are Europe’s third-largest political group, they have successfully penetrated the European Parliament, where they exert significant influence over EU decision-making. The EU has grown increasingly bland as a result of its efforts to gain influence within the organization. As a result, the EU has become increasingly stale when it comes to dealing with big issues. In part due to the fact that the decision-making process is based on a system of a unanimous vote, populists strive to place their national interests ahead of the interests of Europe as a whole, producing divisions among the European Union’s members.

The EU provided financial assistance for the pandemic recovery program, but Poland and Hungary delayed the programs for Covid in order to maximize their share of the Covid Fund. Italy was hit by a lethal wave of Covid, for which the country requested financial assistance from the EU. It was only because they had no choice but to acknowledge Italy’s grave plight that France and Germany remained benign towards the selfish nature o. The rise of populist parties has resulted in a rise in the popularity of nationalist rhetoric. Nationalists want to prioritize the interests of their home country.

They attempt to depict the EU as an exploiting organization in order to put pressure on the organization to invest resources in order to maintain the public’s favorable impression of the organization. Public expenditure was at its highest levels in populist countries, with much of the money going to infrastructure in order to appease the elite-corrupt class while simultaneously addressing the public’s dissatisfaction with the government. Because inter governmental is the cornerstone of the European Union, it necessitates the recognition of each member state in order to make decisions as a collective.

Authoritarianism is heavily reliant on nationalism in order to be effective 

A law enforcement procedure that is dependent on its members does not exist in this organization. As a result of their desire for Europe to be insulated from the rest of the world, populists have had a considerable impact on crisis management in the European Union. When it comes to dealing with any crisis, they place a high value on belligerence and protectionism. It was advocated that borders are fenced and that border zones in Europe be severely militarized in order to keep migrants out. This, on the other hand, was in direct opposition to the liberal principles upon which the EU was created.

Read more: The Problem in the European Union

Given the fact that major countries such as Germany and France have shown no opposition to nativist parties, the EU is losing ground in its fight against them. Infusing nationalism into European states will pose a challenge to the EU’s very existence, as many populist parties consider the EU as a useless propaganda tool used by the elite to deceive the populace, as several populist parties have stated.

If Europe has to sustain peace it has to live under European Union which is the only way to sustain peace in Europe. EU must take steps to reciprocate Britain for its withdrawal, in order to stop the countries that are preparing to withdraw from it. If the EU doesn’t build itself as a cohesive power, it will end up in the hands of external powers. Above mentioned steps must be taken for its survivability for the assurance of peace in not only Europe but the entire world as if unified Europe will break down then peace will be difficult to assure. Liz Fekete ends her famous book Europe’s Fault Lines with the famous Spanish Civil War republican slogan “they shall not pass”. Populist parties that are against EU must not be supported rather democracies must be supported by Europeans in their own respective countries to assure peace in Europe.


The writer has graduated from NUML, Islamabad, with a bachelor’s in IR.  Currently, he is working as a research associate affiliated with a Professor at NUML. The views expressed in the article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space