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An Awkward Newcomer? EU Enlargement and Euroscepticism in the Czech Republic

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Abstract:

This article analyses opposition to Europe in the Czech Republic, both on the mass and the elite level. It offers a precise definition of Euroscepticism, based on the distinction between diffuse and specific support for European integration, and considers how the exigencies of the EU enlargement process may fuel anti-EU stances. On the basis of an analysis of both mass attitudes and party political stances, the article argues that a major anti-EU mobilisation is unlikely in the Czech Republic, regardless of the relatively strong undercurrent of Euroscepticism that now exists in the country. However, current expressions of Euroscepticism should be understood as potentially defining characteristics of Czech (elite) attitudes in the soon to be enlarged EU.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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