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German Euroscepticism

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The German perception of European integration has changed. The traditional attitude of consent (which was often above the European average) has given way to a more sober sentiment. It would be incorrect, however, to talk of fundamental Euroscepticism. The political parties, for instance, have so far not exploited the change of mood. What public scepticism there is appears focused on two key EU projects and their consequences: the single currency and enlargement. Until the end of the 1980s integration was linked to overall gains in growth and employment. Since then the single market and monetary union have led to greater intra-European competition, which will be heightened by enlargement. Many Germans fear that this situation will adversely affect employment, wages and social standards. There is reason to believe that these fears might well come true, providing an extra impulse to German Euroscepticism. This trend may be stopped if the current European monetary policies are supplemented by social policies.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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