Piu, Gianluigi (2017) Partiti etnoregionalisti e processo di integrazione europea: identità e struttura delle opportunità politiche. Doctoral Thesis.
Ethno-regionalist parties are present in almost every country in the EU and – as we have seen in Scotland (UK) and Catalonia (Spain) – they have recently showed the strength (and the appeal) of their political proposal in regional governments. These parties’ position towards the process of European integration can help to identify some possible future scenarios for the EU. In fact, as the hope for a ‘Europe of the Regions’ has faded away and nation states’ role is still strong, it remains to explain what these parties expect from Europe. Whereas scholars agree that ethno-regionalist parties are generally in favour of the European integration, there is no consensus on why this happens. Our research hypothesis is that their support towards the EU depends more on short-term benefits in terms of political opportunities: visibility, funds, offices, networks, policies (a ‘tactical Europeanism’), rather than a wider functional ‘strategic Europeanism’, and so far from a principled and genuine 'identity Europeanism'. To test the hypothesis, we use a qualitative approach through semi-structured interviews with members of both Europhile and the few Eurosceptical ethno-regionalist parties, EU Commission’s officers and staff working closely at regional and parliamentary level with those parties. Crossing and comparing their answers we are able to recognize the kind of party support for EU and this way to understand whether their attitude can favourite or obstruct the European integration.
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