From Euro-enthusiasm to Euro-scepticism? A Re-evaluation of Minority Nationalist Party Attitudes Towards European Integration

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Abstract

This article examines the different dimensions of, and different factors affecting, minority nationalist party attitudes towards Europe. The article draws on evidence from minority nationalist parties in two different contexts—Plaid Cymru in Wales and the Bloque Nacionalista Galego in Galicia—to argue that minority nationalist party attitudes towards European integration are more complex than is usually asserted in the existing academic literature. First, even though minority nationalist parties converged around the idea of a Europe of the Regions during the 1980s and 1990s, the nature of, and motivations for, this support differed widely from party to party. Secondly, there is evidence that, in recent years, minority nationalist parties have become increasingly critical of Europe, although they have not yet abandoned their normative aspirations for a regional Europe. At the same time, however, the salience of the European integration issue has declined markedly in the political projects espoused by minority nationalist parties in Wales and Galicia. The article concludes by arguing that whilst minority nationalist parties may not have turned their back completely on the idea of a Europe of the Regions, a new pragmatism drives these parties' strategies and tactics for meeting their short- and long-term goals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-581
Number of pages26
JournalRegional and Federal Studies
Volume18
Issue number5
Early online date29 Sept 2008
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2008

Keywords

  • Minority nationalist parties
  • European integration
  • party attitudes
  • Wales
  • Galicia

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