Publications

Populism in the EU: new threats to the open society?

1 October 2014
Heather Grabbe (Director, Open Society European Policy Institute)


Writing about populism in the EU, Heather Grabbe asserts that populist parties are thriving, partially due to deep concerns such as economic pain, disillusionment with politics, scepticism toward the representative value of European democracy and insecurities regarding national identities and the durability of European social contracts. She stresses that the increased political power of these parties could change the balance of power between EU institutions, lead to negative spill-over effects into national politics and endanger the EU infrastructure of rights and rule of law. The author calls on European leaders to limit racism in the public debate; connect national and European politics to increase tolerance and bring more voices into the debates and increase transparency at EU level. Furthermore, instead of forming a grand coalition to protect the status quo, mainstream parties should become more active and reform the EU by making progress on issues such as fundamental rights and services liberalisation, while fuelling public debates about the future of Europe and communicating better through social media.

Populism in the EU: new threats to the open society?