The European Elections of 2014 under the Sign of Populism

 

Marcela Monica STOICA

“Dimitrie Cantemir” Christian University, Faculty of Political Sciences

 

Abstract: The present paper deals with the issue of populism in the European Union within the frame of the elections for the European Parliament that will take place in May 2014. The study aims to find an answer to a few questions: how will be the participation of European citizens’ in the elections and which will be the impact of nationalist and populist leaders’ messages on the electoral choice. We consider this year to be a test for European and national elites in their ability to reinforce and to give a new impulse to the European integration project. The results of these elections will have a great political significance because they will reshape the configuration of parties’ system and will lead to a rethinking of the governmental coalitions in Europe. So, this excurse analyses, on one side, the causes of this growing phenomenon of populism in Europe because the political battle in these elections will enact the old myth of the saviour, in the dichotomist relationship scapegoat-hero. On the other side, we try to find what strategies could be used in order to reduce the huge gap between European institutions and their citizens and to make the participative democracy effective.

 

Keywords: elections, democracy, populism, scapegoat, political elites.

 

 

1.   INTRODUCTION. SHORT CONSIDERATIONS

ON NATIONALISM AND POPULISM AS AN IDEOLOGY

 

The actual economic crisis is a fertile ground in which, unfortunatelly, the seeds of nationalism and populism can sprout and bring fruit. The populist brand is associated with political actors such as political leaders and parties. But this phenomenon could be used in order to explain the development and consolidation of modern democracy, especially in the South and Eastern European countries. To attend this goal we have to analyse the spread of nationalism and the varieties faces of populism[1]. We have to clarify if we talk about an ideology or a pseudo- ideology given the facts that there are different aproaches among the specialists, so some brief conceptual clarifications are necessary. What constitutes the „core” in ideological terms? Ideology is a set of ideas, views and beliefs concerning how politics, economic and society should be constructed and organised.[2] As it is known, Destutt de Tracy (1754–1836) defines ideology as the “science of ideas”. There is some agreement that nationalism is an ideological movement speaking in the name of a self-defined nation and aiming at controlling political institutions within a specific territory.

Michael Billig considers the daily impact of nationalism as an ideology[3]. He describes nationalism as „the most successful ideology in human history”, although this does not exclude the parallel dominance of other ideologies addressing internal policy issues[4].

Nationalism seems to advocate strong egalitarian values proclaiming the equality of all citizens or, rather, all the members of the nation. Therefore, a whole set of unreflexive habits can be thought as expressions of ideology. In the public and private discourse, the “casual intolerance” is a common occurrence. This term is used in Billig’s work on banal nationalism and it refers to day to day discursive practices displaying embedded intolerance that often go unnoticed but have the negative effect of reinforcing stereotypes[5].

Elsewhere, Anthony D. Smith reiterates that ideology is a key element in the success of nationalism as “it serves to unify and focus the many grievances and aspirations of different social groups within a particular community or state, and to explain to and activate the people”[6]. The core ideology or belief system of nationalism is composed of at least six crucial interconnected ideas or “basic propositions”, namely that: (1) the world is divided into nations, each with its own character, history and destiny; (2) the nation is the sole source of political power; (3) loyalty to the nation overrides all other loyalties; (4) to be free, every individual must belong to a nation; (5) every nation requires full self-expression and autonomy; (6) global peace and justice require a world of autonomous nations[7].

Some other authors argue that nationalism could be described as “the dominant operative ideology of modernity” since “nearly all contemporary socio-political orders... tend to legitimize their existence in nationalist terms” [8]. Renan (Ernest Renan, Oeuvres complètes, Calmann –Levy, 1947) asserts that nationalism is central to the political legitimacy of modern societies, and in every continent the nationalism has become the main legitimating belief system and the nation has its roots in the right of the populations to decide their own destiny[9] .

But authors such as Ernest Gellner disagreed with the importance of ideology, arguing, instead, that nationalism needs neither modernism and nationalism intellectuals, nor an ideology. In his view, nationalism is a semi-spontaneous response generated ex-machina by a fragmented social system disrupted by the uneven impact of industrialization. Yet, he also acknowledged that nationalism first developed in the West[10].

In the classic formulation of Gellner,

 

“[…] nationalism is, primarily, a political principle, which holds that the political and the national unit should be congruent. Nationalism as a sentiment or as a movement can best be defined in terms of this principle”.[11]

 

Gellner considers that nationalism is “the organization of human groups into large, centrally educated, culturally homogeneous units[12].

Unlike other ideologies, nationalism was rarely formulated through a coherent system of thought and via a clearly identifiable program. The nationalism does not belong, exclusively, to the political right or left[13].

To sum up, the literature on this phenomenon abounds in all kind of labels. The extreme rights will be used with reference to groups that display nativism, authoritarianism and populism as key ideological commitments[14]

The extreme rights exhibit “exclusionary representations of the nation” as well as anti-parliamentary, anti-pluralist and anti-systemic tendencies, even when operating within the norms of liberal-democratic politics[15].

2.   EUROPEAN UNION – WHAT KIND OF DEMOCRACY?

The new Treaty of European Union, the Treaty of Lisbon, puts the democratic and the European governance system on the double legitimacies, intergovernmental and civic.[16] The Treaty of Lisbon is officially recognized the national parliaments as important actors at the level of European Union.

An actor with a meaningful role becomes the European Parliament (EP), an institution with a democratic character, whose spectacular evolution meant also the evolution and the strengthening of the democratic process of EU from an elitarist democracy to a representative democracy and, today, to a participative democracy[17].

European Parliament elections were an indication of interest of European citizens for European integration and a tool for measuring democratic effectiveness and performance of communication between the EU and its citizens.  Since 1979, the European elections were marked by an emphasis on national stakes and low electoral participation. European elections were appreciated, therefore, since the‘80s, as “second order elections” because turnout was always lower than in national elections, political parties obtaining election results lower than in the national elections.[18]

According to the official data from EU website, one can remark, at European level, a decrease in participation rate from 61.99% in 1979 - the first elections[19] - to 43.00% in 2009 - the last election - so, a significant increase in absenteeism[20].

This low level of participation in European elections could be explained by the perception of limited powers of the European Parliament and the low knowledge of European political parties. The European system of political parties was not modernized and adapted to the European requirements and also can be added the lack of the direct link between the European and national elections and the absence of a clear distinction  between the government parties and the  opposition ones. In comparison with the parliamentary activity and electoral democracy at the national level, where the political game is more strongly felt, also the absence of a traditional power-opposition relationship is a cause for confusion for the European citizens. Surveys in the EU confirm that few citizens know who are their elected representatives, what benefits are within their mandate. Also, knowledge regarding the organization and functioning of the European Parliament, the importance of what is happening in EP for their daily life are dramatically reduced.[21]

On the other hand, it was argued that low voter participation in European elections revealed the weak support of the European integration process by citizens, a triple deficit: the absence of a collective identity feeling, the absence of real political debates and the absence of a powerful communitarian political infrastructure. In the new elections, the UE will have to deal with the relation of representative democracy-participatory democracy. And here, come the political parties.

In a representative democracy it is indispensable to have at least some degree of congruence between the opinions of voters and their parties on salient political issues. In most parliamentary democracies there is indeed a strong connection between voters and parties on the traditional left-right dimension; however, the situation is much less clear when it comes to issues concerning European integration.

In the case of the member states of the European Union, the problem of representation is exacerbated by the process of deepening European integration, whereby an increasing number of policy competences are being transferred to the European level. On the one hand, this would lead us to assume that the relevance of the EU-level in the eyes of the voters would correspondingly increase. Furthermore, in line with the parallel significant expansion of the competences of the European Parliament, one would assume that this would increase the stakes for political parties, which field candidates at the EP-elections every five years[22].

3.   THE POLITICAL ACTORS OF THE

EUROPEAN UNION AND THE SCAPEGOAT.

THEDICHOTOMIST RELATIONSHIP GUILTY – SAVIOR

As with any elective process, the European political parties have played a decisive role in achieving democratic debates within the European Union and European elections have enabled citizens to participate in EU politics. At this stage of their development, European political parties have gained a clear status that gave them a greater role, being recognized their specific multinational entities, with a particular organization and coherence. At the same time, their role is enhanced by their quality of institutionalized form of communication between elected and electors[23].

They provide to the voter a range of ideas and symbols thus strengthening their adherence to democratic values ​​and creating a sense of involvement in decision making. They also aggregate their interests and passions and channel citizens’ expectations by offering specific programs.[24] Political parties, at European level, contribute to form European political awareness and to express the will of the Union’s citizens.[25]

In Europe, after 1990, nationalist and xenophobic sentiments began to reassert themselves, more forcefully. They were directed, especially, against Roma, but also against national minorities, Jews and homosexuals. Nevertheless, Eastern and Central Europe hardly have a monopoly on the right-wing extremism. In Western Europe, more frequently, Muslim immigrants today encounter negative stereotyping, discrimination and rejection, a tendency that right wing populist forces increasingly are trying to exploit[26].

Right-wing radicalism is the effort to undo or combat modernization by radicalizing inclusionary and exclusionary criteria of belonging. The criteria of exclusion in far-right discourses can be based on ethnicity, culture, religion and/or gender[27].

If something unifies the populists from all the countries, this is their anti-system discourse.This is the way they all started: contesting the social or political system, the dominant economic structures and the political, cultural, religious institutions. They used the weaknesses or vices of functioning, they exploited the legitimate discontents of the citizens in order to penetrate the system, to overtake it and use it in their own interest[28].

The populist leaders engaged themselves to overthrow the “corrupted elites” and to fight for the poor and to bring in front the ordinary, common people. The populism is associated with the failure of representative democracy, their favourite instruments being the manipulation and the demagoguery. They use emotional, simplistic and manipulative discourses, or put in place opportunistic policies aimed at “buying the support of the people”.[29]  The populist attitude develops under the pressure of the masses looking for a saviour to release them from elites that lost the contact with the genuine reality. Or about elites having exiled themselves in an “ivory tower”[30].

Losing their trust in institutions, the peoples accept the messages of those who tell them what they want to hear. If we talk about politics, we have to emphasizes, as Mudde wrote, that politic is all about perceptions[31]. The difference between a political leader and a demagogy is given by the accountability of the discourse in the public sphere[32].

The best-known technique of communication and identification used by nationalist and populist parties and leaders is to promote, to bring in front of the stage a scapegoat: holding an economic actor or an easily-recognizable group of people responsible for most social problems. For these political actors there are a lot of enemies against who fight the heroes, the saviours.  This friend-enemy rhetoric could be an efficient tool for political elites, both at national and European level. There are politicians who make efforts to turn minorities into scapegoats for societal problems. For examples, anti-immigration campaigns, as the populist leaders claim, simply represent the will of the people. Ordinary citizens, in this respect, reject the provisions imposed by technocrats in Brussels, who are guilty of having expose EU member states to this invasion of foreigners. The catch-all parties constituted an evolution in the nature of political party development. Previously, political parties reflected the narrow and limited interests of their leaderships within national legislatures, leading to elite parties.

Democratisation and increasing suffrage meant that party elites had to appeal to wider electorates, including the newly enfranchised working class[33]. This led to mass parties and ‘catch-all parties’ in Europe and North America.

Catch-all parties were distinct from mass parties as a result of their emphasis on governing rather than acting a representative organisation of a particular social group (as mass parties had tended to be, usually in relation to the working class) and through the use of modern technology and media as its primary form of communication.[34]Authors like Mudde suggested that the populist parties in the East are catch-all parties to their counterparts in Western Europe.[35]

Since the members of the European Parliament are elected directly by the citizens of the EU, to an overwhelming extent from among the candidates of the same political parties that also contest national elections, we could expect that it is in the best interest of both the voters and the political parties that they provide adequate policy alternatives, and therefore, represent the preferences of their constituents also on European issues.

But the reality is more complicated. For one, genuinely European issues rarely feature prominently in the political discourse of the EU’s member states (with the exception of thematic referenda, crises directly related to the EU, etc.), especially when it comes to national elections. For a number of reasons, both voters and parties attach far less importance to EP-elections than to national contests, which decide the fates of governments. With a few exceptions, both the parties and the campaign topics are generally the same in national and European elections, and thus, the government-opposition dynamic might prevail even at EP-elections. Consequently, EP-elections can more often than not be regarded as “second-order national elections”[36]. In any case, neither parties, nor their voters seem to prioritize EU-related issues, whether in EP- or national elections, and conflicts directly relating to European integration are only taken up by a small minority of parties. In other words, the EU-issue has only to a very limited extent been politicised.[37]

Many studies and surveys have concluded that opinion congruence between parties and voters on EU-related issues is rather weak (or, from a normative perspective, too weak), first of all because voters are insufficiently informed, or outright ignorant when it comes to the question of European integration (as opposed to key domestic policies), but also due to the fact that parties, in most cases, are strategically counter-interested in politicizing the EU-issue, and therefore fail to provide adequately differentiated policy alternatives. Some authors regard this as lack of representative of (trans-European) political parties on the EU-dimension, rather than the widely criticised democratic deficit as the “correct diagnosis of the European legitimacy crisis”.[38]

According to some opinions, in the Eastern European space, the changes that took place were called “the consolidation in power of a non-ideological populism that completely changes the perspective on ideology consolidation within the political arena[39].

Schmitter argues that we have to take it into account both vices and virtues of populism.[40]

On the one hand, populists dissolve partisan loyalties and rational choices among various political programs without replacing them with something of their own, they recruit uninformed persons with no clear political preference and who look for emotional rather than programmatic political preferences. They make promises and raise expectations that generally cannot be fulfilled, they identify aliens and alien powers as “scapegoats” for their own political failures and, most important of all, may undermine democracy by the support provided them by the army, security, forces which make their democratic removal from office unlikely.

On the other hand, populist politicians and parties help dismantle sclerotic party loyalties and dissolve party coalitions that are based on secret agreements, and they recruit and mobilize previously apathetic persons. By focusing on disparate and hidden political issues, they help articulate previously neglected cleavages and demands. Also, they replace political immobilism and widen the range of possible political solutions to collective problems.

All in all, when electoral defeated, populism leaves behind a reinvigorated party system. Thus, this perspective is more like a symptom of democracy, rather than a defect of democracy[41].

In the case of Romania, although they partially engaged in a profound revision of the whole political system as a response to society’s claims, especially after the elections of 2000, their efforts were less oriented towards widely negotiated and fully legitimate changes and more towards consolidating their power on serious undemocratic costs. In Romania, the new populist elites address the citizens with no emphasis on ideology, which they disdain as obsolete, organize movements rather than parties and search the pure power, disregarding the constitutional framework or patterns of democracy[42].

As some Romanian authors clearly argue, populist parties and leaders despise representative democracy, parliamentarism and the rule of law, they continue their attacks against neutral and independent bodies so appears the possibility of increasing the radical political movements.

Thus, it could be the case of radical populist movements and radical extremists, or even for authoritarian regimes who might attempt to take political control, often in the very name of direct democracy and people’s genuine will. At the same time, the populist’s road to power questions furthermore the relevance and accuracy of ideologies within a political framework dominated by the struggle for „pure power”[43].

Populism is both a reaction to and a product of, the growing distance between citizens and their institutions of governance, whether that is at state or European level. Populist movements accuse EU institutions of elitism and remoteness from the everyday lives of ordinary citizens. Populists play on fear and demagoguery instead of engaging in constructive dialogue to help improve public life.

In many European countries the public discontent against traditional political parties is rising, and, at the same time, there is a growing consensus for anti-establishment protests movements with populist accents.

Furthermore, we cannot fully understand the crisis of political parties without taking into account the growing supremacy of economics over politics, which has considerably weakened them, transforming them and eroding their grass-roots base, social ties and identity[44].

4.   CONCLUSION

Throughout its history, in the European Union there have always been ups and downs and successes are inevitably followed by crises. The European Union is one of the institutional constructions preoccupied by its democratic legitimacy, by the transparency of the institutions’ activity and by a close link with the national political systems.

Nationalism and populism are hardly new phenomena but gained field in the last decades as the European Union countries confront themselves with the challenges of globalization and mass-immigration. The failure of the EU to give clear, effective and socially reasonable answers to the economic, social and democratic crisis is having a profound political impact, leading to rising of nationalism, Euro-skepticism, populism, political extremism and delivering an unrealistic narrative where Europe is the scapegoat for all problems and nation states are the saving solution.

Today, in times of crisis, we run a high risk that these achievements fall victim to rising extreme tendencies and budget cuts.

At the same time, comes again into discussions the idea of European democracy and of the reality that EU is a public space where the people are part of the decision making process and have the right to be active, to have the guarantee that their opinion counts and they could have a full participation in the political debates. 

Therefore, the European institutions must develop a greater transparency and reduce the remoteness facing the citizens. According to Almond and Verba, reluctance to involve citizens in solving public problems is the prerogative of inefficient institutions to allow free access of citizens. [45]

In terms of EU-citizens relationship, the Union has undergone a process of democratization from a democracy of elites to a representative democracy, the people choosing their representatives in Parliament,  and, today, by the expressed provisions of the Treaty of Lisbon, it was established a  participative democracy having in  its centre  the European citizens with a civic culture.  

The EU is at the crossroads and the future elections will have to have as stake the fulfilment of the expectations of European citizens concerning their material needs and rights.

 

 

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D’ALEMA, Massimo, “Introductions”, in Hechwig GIUSTO, David KITCHING and Stefano RIZZO (eds), The Changing Faces of Populism. Systematic Challenges in Europe and the U.S., O.GRA. RO, Roma, 2013,  pp. 5-13.

BILLIG, Michael, Banal Nationalism , Sage, London, 1995.

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DE WAELE, Jean-Michel, Petia GUEORGUIEVA, Sorina SOARE, “Analiza partidelor politice în Europa Centrală”, in Jean-Michel DE WAELE (ed.), Partide politice şi democraţie în Europa centrală şi de est, Humanitas, Bucureşti, 2003, pp. 7-15.

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HAINSWORTH, P., The Extreme Right in Western  Europe, Routledge, London, 2008.

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Other Sources

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The consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union  - Jurnalul Oficial al UE C 115/13 din 9.5.2008; art.8 (4).

 



[1]On populism, as an ideology, see more details in the works of Hechwig GIUSTO, David KITCHING and Stefano RIZZO (eds), The Changing Faces of Populism. Systematic Challenges in Europe and the U.S., O.GRA. RO, Roma, 2013; Paul TAGGART, Populism, Open University Press Buckingham/Philadelphia, 2000; Cas MUDDE, Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe, Cambridge  University Press, Cambridge, 2007; Ralf MELZER Ralf, Sebastian SERAFIM (eds), Right-Wing Extremism in Europe, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Berlin, 2013; Guy HERMET, Sociologia populismului, Artemis, București, 2007.

[2]Roger EATWELL, “Introduction: the New Extreme Rights Challenge” in Roger EATWELL and Cas MUDDE (eds.), Western Democracies and the New Extreme Right Challenge, Routledge, London,  2004, pp. 1-16. see also Roger EATWELL, “Ideologies: Approaches and Trends,” in Roger EATWELL and Anthony WRIGHT, Contemporary Political Ideologies, 2nd reprint, Pinter, London, 1996. 

[3]For an introduction to the phenomenon of nationalism, see Michael BILLIG, Banal Nationalism, Sage, London, 1995; Ernest GELLNER, Nations and Nationalism, Blackwell, Oxford, 1983; A. D. SMITH, Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2001.

[4]Michael BILLIG, Banal Nationalism, Sage, London, 1995, p. 22.

[5] Radu CINPOES, “Romania”, in Ralf MELZER, Sebastian SERAFIM (eds), Right-Wing Extremism…cit., p. 171.

[6] A. D. SMITH, Nationalism and Modernism: A Critical Survey of Recent Theories of Nations and Nationalism, Routledge, London, 1998, Ref. 13, p. 116.

[7] Idem, Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2001, p. 22.

[8] S. MALESEVIC, Nationalism and the power of ideology”, in G. DELANTY and K. KUMAR (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Nations and Nationalism, Sage Publications, London 2006, p. 317.

[9] Apud Evelyne PISIER (coord.), Istoria ideilor politice, Amarcord, Timișoara, 2000, p. 306.

[10] Ernest GELLNER, Nations and Nationalism…cit., p. 36; See also Ernest GELLNER, Thought and Change, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1964.

[11]Ernest GELLNER, Nations and Nationalism…cit., p. 1.

[12] Idem, p. 35.

[13] Eugen WEBER, “Dreapta”, in Hans ROGGER, Eugen WEBER (coord.), Dreapta europeana, Minerva, București, 1995, p. 7.

[14] Cas MUDDE, Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 20-23, apud  Radu CINPOES, “Romania”, in Ralf MELZER, Sebastian SERAFIM (eds), Right-Wing Extremism…cit., p. 171.

[15]P. HAINSWORTH, The Extreme Right in Western Europe, Routledge, London, 2008, pp. 11-12, apud  Radu CINPOES, “Romania”, Right-Wing Extremism in Europe…cit., p. 171.

[16] Francisco Aldecoa LUZÁRRAGA, Mercedes Guinea LLORENTE, Europa viitorului. Tratatul de la Lisabona/The Europe of Future. The Treaty of Lisbon, Polirom, Iaşi, 2011, p. 69.

[17] Zoltan HORVATH, Handbook on the European Union, Reference Press, Budapest, 2002, p. 87.

[18] John PINDER, Uniunea Europeană- Foarte scurtă introducere/ European Union. A very Brief Introduction, trans. Cristian Iulian Neagoe, Editura Bic All, București, 2005, p. 164.

[19] In the first free and direct elections for the European Parliament, in 1979, took part the citizens from the 9 Member States: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark and in 2009 took part the citizens of 27 countries, current members. In 2014, will participate the citizens of 28 countries, as Croatia became member of EU in 2013.

[20] Special Euro-barometer 299. The 2009 European Elections, EU, pp. 17-18, consulted at: [ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_299_en.pdf (04.02.2014)].

[21] Source: [www.europeanparliament.eu.int.be/eurobarometru/].

[22] Robert LADRECH, “Party Change and Europeanisation: Elements of an Integrated Approach,” West European Politics, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2012, pp. 578–579.

[23] Marcela Monica STOICA, “From Representation to Participation: A more Democratic European Union?”, 7th Edition of International ConferenceThe European  Integration – Realities and Perspectives”. EIRP Proceedings, Vol .7, Danubius University Press, 2012, pp. 812-817.

[24] Jean-Michel DE WAELE, Petia GUEORGUIEVA, Sorina SOARE, “Analiza partidelor politice în Europa Centrală”, in Jean-Michel DE WAELE (ed.), Partide politice şi democraţie în Europa centrală şi de est/ Political Parties and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe, Humanitas, Bucureşti, 2003, p. 8.

[25] The consolidated version of the Treaty on European Union  - Jurnalul Oficial al UE C 115/13 din 9.5.2008; art.8 (4).For more details see also Bernard DENNI, Patrick LECOMPTE, Sociologia politicului, vol. 2, trans. Marta Nora Ţărnea, Eikon, Cluj-Napoca, 2004.

[26] Ralf MELZER, Sebastian SERAFIM (eds), Right-Wing Extremism in Europe…cit. (Editor’s Preface, p. 7.).

[27] Ralf MELZER, Sebastian SERAFIM (eds), Right-Wing Extremism in Europe…cit., p. 11.

[28]Guy HERMET, Sociologia populismului, Artemis, București, 2007, p. 1.

[29] Cas MUDDE, “The Populist Zeitgeist”, Government and Opposition, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2004, pp. 541-563.

[30]Nathan HARTER, “Elite Theory”, in Antonio MARTURANO, Jonathan GOSLING (eds.), Leadership. The Key Concepts, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, London & New York, 2008, p. 48.

[31] Cas MUDDE, Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007.

[32] Guy HERMET, Sociologia populismului…cit., p. 2. See also Céline BELOT, Bruno CAUTRES, Vers une espace public européen? Les élections européennes de juin 2004, Etudes et Recherches No. 40, Notre Europe.

[33] Bernard DENNI, Patrick LECOMPTE, Sociologia politicului…cit., p. 64.

[34] Otto KIRCHHEIMER, ȚThe Transformation of the Western European Party System” in Joseph LaPALOMBARA, Myron WEINER (eds.), Political Parties and Political Development, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1966, pp. 177-200; Bernard DENNI, Patrick LECOMPTE, Sociologia politicului…cit.,  vol. 2, p. 91; Rod HAGUE, Martin HARROP and Shaun BRESLIN, Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction, 4th ed., Macmillan Press, Basingstoke, 1998, p. 132.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

[35] Cas MUDDE, Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007.

[36] Simon HIX and Bjørn HØYLAND, The Political System of the European Union, Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, 2011, p. 147.

[37] Robert LADRECH, “Party Change and Europeanisation: Elements of an Integrated Approach,” West European Politics, Vol. 35, No. 3, 2012, p. 583.

[38] Jean Paul JACQUÉ, Droit institutionnel de l’Union Européenne, ed.a 4-a, Paris, 2006.

[39] Dragoş DRAGOMAN, Post Accesion Backsliding. Non-ideological Populism and Democratic Setbacks in Romania”, South-East European Journal of Political Science. Ideologies and Patterns of Democracy, Vol. I, No 3, 2013, p. 28.

[40] Philippe C. SCHMITTER, “A Balance Sheet of the Vice and Virtues of Populism”, paper prepared for the Conference “The Challenge of the New Populism”, 10-11 may 2006, Sofia.

[41] Jean-Michel DE WAELE, Anna PACZENIAK, (eds),  Populism in Europe – Defect or Symptom of Democracy, Oficyina Naukova, Worsaw, 2010, apud Dragos DRAGOMAN, “Post-Accession Backsliding: Non-Ideological Populism and Democratic Setbacks in Romania…cit.”, pp. 27-46, Ref. 1, p. 30.

[42] Dragoş DRAGOMAN, “Post Accesion Backsliding…cit.”, p. 42.

[43] Dragoş DRAGOMAN, “Post Accesion Backsliding…cit.”, p. 43.

[44] Massimo D’ALEMA, “Introductions”, in Hechwig GIUSTO, David KITCHING and Stefano RIZZO (eds), The Changing Faces of Populism. Systematic Challenges in Europe and the U.S., O.GRA. RO, Roma, 2013, p. 7.

[45] Gabriel ALMOND, Sydney VERBA, The Civic Culture, Little Brown, Boston, 1965, p. 39.