2014 European Parliament elections were the first to take place since the entry
into force of the Lisbon Treaty and were fundamentally different from those
which preceded them. It was the first time that a direct link was established
between the result of the elections and the designation of the European
Commission President. The President of the European Commission was nominated by
the European political families for the first time, and the candidate who was
able to command a majority in the newly formed European Parliament became President
of the European Commission. The European Council nominated the candidate of the
party with most seats in the European Parliament, who was elected as European
Commission President by the European Parliament. The 2014 elections stemmed the
steady fall in overall turnout since the first direct European elections in
1979. These elections have laid the ground for future European elections and
established a clear bond between the results of the European Parliament
elections and the choice of European Commission President. An important antecedent
has been set for 2019 and beyond, and it has established a European-level forum
for political debate” (European
Commission, 2014).

 The author is Sara Binzer Hobolt. She is a Danish
political scientist, who specialises in European politics and electoral
behaviour. She holds the Sutherland Chair in European Institutions at the
London School of Economics and Political Science.  Her theoretical and
intellectual framework in this article is very much drawn from the political behaviour, EU politics and European
integration (Hobolt). The article is organised in
to four parts, covering “the
political and economic context of the 2014 EP elections and the national debate
on the EU in the period leading up to the vote” (Hobolt, 2015). It also speaks
about behavior of voters in the 2014 elections and finally the author tries to
explain the Eurosceptic vote. The
article is comprehensive, brief and impressive for its coverage of the Euroscepticism
in the 2014 European Parliament Elections.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

 By far the most
remarkable element of this article is the author’s thesis that the victory of
Eurosceptic parties was not just a coincidence but there were obvious reasons
why that change happened. The author gives two main reasons. The first one is
that the 2014 European Parliament elections happened in the period of the worst
economic crisis in post-war Europe and many EU countries held the EU responsible for the economic crisis
that left people punished by anti-austerity measures and the high unemployment. And the second reason is that voters
face these elections as midterm elections (“second-order elections”) and as a
result, they do not give attention and do not have interest of these elections.
Nevertheless, while the article does provide extensive analysis, other reasons
can also be added to the behavior of voters. The problem of immigration and
refugee crisis also played a crucial role.  Human rights activists and
humanitarian workers have extensively criticized the way the EU handled the
refugee crisis, and this handling has been met with the emergence of far right
anti-immigration parties in multiple states of the EU. All the EU countries had
overwhelming majorities expressing their disappointment in how the EU has dealt
with the crisis. Moreover, the lack of clarity can be another crucial reason.
For instance, in the trail of the Brexit result, the opinion arose that many in
Britain knew very little about the EU and its institutions. RT (2016) website
showed that the question ““What is the
EU?” was the second most-searched term on Google in the
UK after the results came through on Friday morning, suggesting that many
potential voters were apparently unaware of the scope of EU bodies.” What we can learn about this example is that EU
citizens are not well-informed and this means that their vote is not always
conscious. Finally, the same website (RT, 2016) claims that“ many people view the EU as a world of bureaucracy,
while at the same time people are critical of EU spending on apparently
pointless projects. A report issued by auditors in 2014 slammed the EU for
spending millions of euros between 2000 to 2013 on investments in airport
infrastructure that were not needed. The report found only half of the funded
airports actually needed the money.” All the
above-mentioned represent the idea that there is a Eurocrisis. People tried to
find who is to blame for and started having a negative image of the EU.


 Moreover, Holmqvist
(2014) has some interesting things to say about two basic factors of the
elections: a) the compulsory voting and b) the concurrent national elections. As
far as the first factor is concerned, the
decrease in electoral participation is a concerning trend which affect the
internal and external image of the EU. According to Malkopoulou (2009, p.1) “among
possible remedies for apathy, the most immediate would be to penalise
abstention. Such a course of action is naturally controversial, on moral,
political and technical grounds. Despite the many problems of enforcement, a
number of scholars, policy-makers and voters worldwide believe that compulsory
voting is a good thing, supporting that full participation prevents electoral
corruption and promotes political integration. On the other hand, opponents of
compulsory voting have identified 


I'm James!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out