Publications

The rise of anti-EU populism: why, and what to do about it

12 September 2011
Antonio Missiroli (Director, EU Institute for Security Studies)


This Policy Brief by Antonio Missiroli (BEPA) tracks the growth of anti-EU populism over the last decade, describing how populist leaders have successfully plugged into citizens’ concerns about the future, their fears of economic decline, financial insolvency and rising immigration. They have used this to build political movements that threaten the EU’s legitimacy and even its ability to act, especially as mainstream parties are not countering the populist rhetoric with the necessary determination. The author suggests a number of measures to fight anti-EU populism, including dispelling anti-Europe myths, highlighting inconsistencies in the populist narrative, emphasising EU politicians’ and officials’ political legitimacy, and acknowledging problems for what they are as a precondition for articulating adequate solutions publicly.

The rise of anti-EU populism: why, and what to do about it