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EPS Seminar Series - GILSUN JEONG (University of Sussex): 'The Pandemic Crisis and Party-based Euroscepticism in the 2019-2024 European Parliament'

When:We 20-09-2023 16:00 - 17:00
Where:Collaboratory B, Harmonie building

This event is part of the Seminar Series of the theme group European Politics and Society.


The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken European societies and their health systems to the core, and the EU’s initial response raised doubts about its capacity to manage a global health crisis. However, the EU once again attempted to collectively handle the ramifications of the crisis by strengthening its economic and fiscal competences. The new instrument (NGEU) marked a significant step in European integration, but it also revealed dividing lines within the EU. In the light of this, this research investigates how the pandemic crisis impacted upon party-based Euroscepticism in the European Parliament, with a specific focus on the Eurosceptic discourses on Twitter. I utilised BERTopic to capture latent topics in tweets (n. 64,719) published by sixteen Eurosceptic parties from the central actors of EU negotiations for NGEU. In the discourses of the Eurosceptic parties, three dimensions of the pandemic crisis emerged: the public health crisis, the EU vaccine debate, and the economic crisis. These dimensions played out differently in the discourses and had varying impacts upon the parties. During the Ukraine war, the focus of party Euroscepticism shifted from the pandemic crisis to the Russian invasion and the European energy crisis. Moreover, the Eurosceptic discourses appeared to be conditioned to national contexts and ideological leanings, and the development of the discourses during the Ukraine war displayed the reactive nature of party Euroscepticism.

If you would like to attend, please contact Martijn Schoonvelde (martijn.schoonvelde