If The Times has any better manner of describing Margaret Thatcher, then the description that follows is ?Euro-skeptic' personality. This was the description that highlighted Margaret Thatcher's attitude as per the publication in The Times on the 30th of June 1986. At this point, one could predict the reaction with the first media appearance of the notion of ?euro-skepticism'. From then on, the term has progressed by creating grave impacts on its usage especially across the European terrain and among well known political players and commentators. From Margaret Thatcher's attitudes stretching across Europe into the French leftwing of ?No vote' and leaning towards the European constitutional treaty's referenda in 2005, and battling through the extreme right's positions in Europe, the term has been applied to extremely various realities. By and large, it is used to describe all kinds of critical or negative perceptions and attitudes of citizens and politicians with regard to Europe. Perceptions and attitudes have been expressed by Taggart in 1988 as ?contingent or qualified opposition, as well as incorporating outright and unqualified opposition'. ?Europe' has encompassed the process of European integration, through the implementation of ?its policies, its institutions or its principles' as referenced by Hooghe and Marks in 2007. However, it is confirmed that the above definition on ?euro-skepticism', is best suited as a mainstream definition. It is to be noted that a lot of confusion, chaos and misunderstanding surrounding this broad definition and its application exists. It is even emphasized that knowledgeable researchers have not been successful in arriving at a consensus. A peculiar theoretical quarrel on how to use the term adequately is still underway. Beginning with a deliberately naive question, it is an indisputable fact that one would definitely wonder why it is important, beyond the intellectual imperative to use the appropriate term. In a general situation, why should we be concerned about the adequacy of the term ?euro-skepticism?' In this report, we will display that the interest of this subject is above all political in the sense, that it is just not an accurate knowledge of a phenomenon. However, it is a prerequisite to any political action. There is no way that one would be able to comprehend and detect the adequate tools to fight ?euro-skepticism' when it cannot be defined explicitly.
[...] How adequate is the term “Euro-scepticism”? Paradox: Although the “catch-all” character of the term scepticism” seems to be its greatest strength, it is, above all, its major weakness. Strength: the term “Euro-scepticism” seems adequate because it is an extremely convenient term. Weakness: the term “Euro-scepticism” is inadequate because it runs the risk of ending up nonsense. II- Overcoming the paradox: The need for a new definition Using the term “euro-scepticism” in a narrower meaning Beyond the theoretical debate: political issues at stake “Euro-sceptic”, that is how The Times describes Margaret Thatcher in its 30 June 1986 issue. [...]
[...] Two remarks have to be done here. First, euroscepticism as it has been re-defined here is not some temporary European problem. On the contrary, it is a permanent feature of the European environment and of public attitude. Indeed, it is impossible to satisfy all different expectations at the same time. Moreover, to some extent, “euro-scepticism” is not intrinsically a “bad' thing for democracy. As Krouwel and Abs argue, “citizens who are sceptical [ . ] are the paragon of democratic virtue”. [...]
[...] Laurent Fabius during the constitutional treaty referendum campaign on veut une Europe plus forte, on commence par dire may 2005). By mixing right-wing and left-wing, short term and long term, extremists and moderates, hard and soft, new EU countries' and old members' dissent, federalists and defenders of national sovereignty, specific and diffuse criticisms, there is a great risk that the conceptual tool ends up nonsense. Therefore, weighing up its strength and weakness, the term scepticism” as it is used today is not adequate. [...]
[...] What is essential here is to perceive how complex this reality is. Consequently, facing this troubling diversity, the term “euro-scepticism” appears like a “blessing” to some: “Euro-scepticism” is simplification. This one single word can conveniently express the diffuse realities. It “catches” it all. Its use highlights the lowest common denominator of all these attitudes: they are all criticisms to Europe (focusing on different targets, for different reasons, and at different degrees). But, where should one stop in simplifying the reality? [...]
[...] The latter can be described as an attitude of doubt. Sceptics are watchful and need evidences to support their belief. “Scepticism could be defined as reluctant (dis)trust of political power, meaning that sceptics can always revoke their confidence in specific political actors and institutions” (Krouwel and Abts, 2007). Therefore, “euro-scepticism” should be considered as matter of doubt rather than denial” (Krouwel and Abts, 2007). I will argue here that it is much more efficient to consider “euro-scepticism” as distinct from the concept of “outright opposition”. [...]
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