Countries in Europe 'Unlikely' to Leave EU Despite Growing Euroscepticism

Countries in Europe 'Unlikely' to Leave EU Despite Growing Euroscepticism

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SOURCE World Review

VADUZ, Liechtenstein, September 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

 

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Eurosceptics in the European parliament have had little impact so far, three months after their success in the May 2014 European elections, writes World Review expert Professor Enrico Colombatto, the University of Turin, Italy.

New regulations are being churned out unabated and Brussels' requests for centralised and enhanced policymaking intensify virtually unopposed.

'However, discontent about the European institutions keeps rising at local level,' he says. 'The outcry ranges from pleas to quit the European Union, and possibly renegotiate the terms of association, to uproar against the euro.'

The anti-EU feelings are more deeply rooted in countries in which national sovereignty is deemed essential, whereas anti-euro feelings are widespread in economies affected by the crisis.

'A third of Italy's population would like to see the lira back in circulation but the vast majority of Italians are deeply unhappy with the European common currency and believe the euro project is seriously flawed,' he says.

However, it is likely that hardly anyone would complain about the EU and the euro if the economic situation were more encouraging and growth prospects better,' he adds.

'We believe it is unlikely that a country will quit the euro spontaneously, regardless of public opinion, given the presence of institutional inertia and the lack of political courage.'

The current institutional environment characterising the EU and the euro seems stable, he says.

'National leaders may take advantage of rising discontent at home to increase their popularity and/or to prevent potential competitors from taking advantage of unmet populist demand. They may see resentment against the EU or the euro as a way of enhancing their bargaining power in Brussels or Strasbourg.'

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About the author 

World Review expert Professor Enrico Colombatto is a professor of economics at the University of Turin, Italy. He is also Director of the International Centre for Economic Research (ICER) in Turin and Prague and Director of Research, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Fiscales (IREF) in Paris.

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