Politicization of European Integration as a Source of Populism in Europe

Tangör B.

The 8th Euroacademia International Conference The European Union and the Politicization of Europe, Ghent, Belgium, 25 - 26 February 2019, pp.1-10

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Ghent
  • Country: Belgium
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The process of politicization of European integration has accelerated after signing the Maastricht Treaty. In the politicized European Union, the “technocrat” appearance of the European Commission has also changed and has become a college where the political balances are mostly observed after the Lisbon Treaty. The electoral process of the European Parliament in 2019 and its election results have created an anti-EU opposition with the Europeanist majority, bringing debate over sovereignty to the top of the EU agenda. The rise of populism in Europe is not limited to the percentage of votes of populist parties, but also manifests itself by the reflection of the programs they propose to government policies and the increasing scepticism towards European integration. In the European Union, there has been no consensus as to the nature of the authority and the extent of its authority yet. This study examines the political architecture of the European Union as sources of populist politics and the debates on democratic deficit within the EU. In this analysis, the dynamics of the politicization process within the framework of regional integration theories are revealed. It is argued that identity politics has become more decisive than economic considerations in a politicized European integration. Identity politics, therefore, is a source of populism through discussions of both sovereignty and democratic deficits in the European Union.