Euroscepticism

Euroscepticism

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Euroscepticism is a general term used to describe criticism of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 (EU), and opposition to the process of European integration
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

, existing throughout the political spectrum. Traditionally, the main source of euroscepticism has been the notion that integration weakens the nation state. Other views occasionally seen as eurosceptic include perceptions of the EU being undemocratic or too bureaucratic
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

. A Eurobarometer
Eurobarometer
Eurobarometer is a series of surveys regularly performed on behalf of the European Commission since 1973. It produces reports of public opinion of certain issues relating to the European Union across the member states...

 survey of EU citizens in 2009 showed that support for membership of the EU was lowest in Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

.

Types of euroscepticism


There are two different types of Eurosceptic thought, which differ by the extent to which adherents reject European integration and the reason for doing so. Aleks Szczerbiak and Paul Taggart described these as 'hard' and 'soft' euroscepticism.

Hard euroscepticism is the opposition to membership of, or the existence of, the European Union as a matter of principle. The Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Democracy is a Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament. Formed after the European parliamentary election in 2009, it is mostly made up of elements of the now defunct Independence/Democracy and Union for a Europe of Nations groups from the out-going...

 group in the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

, typified by such parties as the United Kingdom Independence Party
United Kingdom Independence Party
The United Kingdom Independence Party is a eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. Whilst its primary goal is the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, the party has expanded beyond its single-issue image to develop a more comprehensive party platform.UKIP...

, is hard eurosceptic. In existing western European EU member countries, hard euroscepticism is a hallmark of many anti-establishment
Anti-establishment
An anti-establishment view or belief is one which stands in opposition to the conventional social, political, and economic principles of a society. The term was first used in the modern sense in 1958, by the British magazine New Statesman to refer to its political and social agenda...

 parties.

Soft euroscepticism is support for the existence of, and membership of, a form of European Union, but opposition to particular EU policies, and opposition to a federal Europe. The European Conservatives and Reformists
European Conservatives and Reformists
The European Conservatives and Reformists, abbreviated to ECR, is a conservative anti-federalist political group in the European Parliament. The group currently comprises 57 MEPs, making it the fourth-largest group in the European Parliament....

 group, typified by such parties as the British Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

, along with the European United Left–Nordic Green Left
European United Left–Nordic Green Left
European United Left/Nordic Green Left is a left-wing political group with seats in the European Parliament since 1995.-Position:According to its 1994 constituent declaration, the group is opposed to the present European political structure, but committed to integration...

 which is an alliance of left-wing parties in the European Parliament, is soft eurosceptic.

Alternative names for 'hard' and 'soft' euroscpticism are 'withdrawlist' or 'reformist' euroscepticism. Some 'hard' eurosceptics such as UKIP prefer to call themselves euro-realists rather than 'sceptics'. Also many on the left such as Tony Benn tend not to use the phrase to refer to themselves even though they share many of their criticisms of the European Union and they may use phrases such as euro-critical or just call themselves democrats or socialists and their scepticism as part of their wider belief in democracy or socialism.

EU citizens attitudes towards the EU (Eurobarometer survey 2009)


A survey in showed that within the European Union overall, the majority of EU citizens support their country's membership: over 50% think their country's membership is "a good thing", and only 15% think it is "a bad thing". Attitudes vary greatly between countries. Support is greatest in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Ireland, with about 70%–80% thinking that membership is a good thing.
Scepticism is highest in Latvia, the United Kingdom, and Hungary, with only 25%–32% viewing membership as a good thing.
In Britain, opinions are divided, fairly evenly, between those who think that membership is a good thing, a bad thing, or neither good nor bad.

The majority of citizens (56%) believe that membership of the EU has benefited their country, though a significant minority (31%) believe that their country has not benefited. Belief that the citizen's country has benefited from EU membership is lowest (below 50%) in the UK, Hungary, Latvia, Italy, Austria, Sweden and Bulgaria.

About 48 percent of EU citizens tend to trust the European Parliament, and about 36 percent do not tend to trust it.
Trust is highest in Slovakia, Belgium, Malta, Denmark, Estonia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Luxembourg; it is lowest in the UK (22%) and Latvia (40%).
Trust in the European Commission and the ECB is slightly lower.

A positive to neutral image of the EU dominates, with about 46% of citizens having a positive image and only 16% having a negative image; about 36% have a neutral image.

1999–2004


A study analyzed voting records of the Fifth European Parliament and ranked groups, concluding: "Towards the top of the figure are the more pro-European parties (PES, EPP-ED, and ALDE), whereas towards the bottom of the figure are the more anti-European parties (EUL/NGL, G/EFA, UEN and EDD)."

2004–2009


In 2004, 37 Members of the European Parliament
Member of the European Parliament
A Member of the European Parliament is a person who has been elected to the European Parliament. The name of MEPs differ in different languages, with terms such as europarliamentarian or eurodeputy being common in Romance language-speaking areas.When the European Parliament was first established,...

 (MEPs) from the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 founded a new European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 group called “Independence and Democracy
Independence and Democracy
The Independence/Democracy Group in the European Parliament was a group of eurosceptic and eurorealist political parties in the 2004-2009 term of the European Parliament. It collapsed following the 2009 European elections after losing many of its MEPs....

” from the old Europe of Democracies and Diversities
Europe of Democracies and Diversities
Europe of Democracies and Diversities was a euro-sceptic political group with seats in the European Parliament between 1999 and 2004. Following the elections in 2004, the former MEPs of the group took MEPs from the new member countries on board and together, they registered the new group...

 (EDD) group.

The main goals of the ID group were to reject the proposed Treaty establishing a constitution for Europe
Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe
The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe , , was an unratified international treaty intended to create a consolidated constitution for the European Union...

. Some delegations within the group, notably the United Kingdom Independence Party
United Kingdom Independence Party
The United Kingdom Independence Party is a eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. Whilst its primary goal is the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, the party has expanded beyond its single-issue image to develop a more comprehensive party platform.UKIP...

, also advocate the complete withdrawal of their country from the EU whilst others only wish to limit further European integration
European integration
European integration is the process of industrial, political, legal, economic integration of states wholly or partially in Europe...

.

2009 elections


The elections in 2009
European Parliament election, 2009
Elections to the European Parliament were held in the 27 member states of the European Union between 4 and 7 June 2009. A total of 736 Members of the European Parliament were elected to represent some 500 million Europeans, making these the biggest trans-national elections in history...

 saw a significant drop in some areas in support for Eurosceptic parties, with all MEPs from Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 losing their seats. However, in the UK, the eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party
United Kingdom Independence Party
The United Kingdom Independence Party is a eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. Whilst its primary goal is the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, the party has expanded beyond its single-issue image to develop a more comprehensive party platform.UKIP...

 achieved second place in the elections, finishing ahead of the governing Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 and the British National Party
British National Party
The British National Party is a British far-right political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982...

 (BNP) won its first ever two MEPs. Although new members joined the ID group from Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, it was unclear as to whether the ID group would reform in the new parliament.

The ID group did reform, as the Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Democracy
Europe of Freedom and Democracy is a Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament. Formed after the European parliamentary election in 2009, it is mostly made up of elements of the now defunct Independence/Democracy and Union for a Europe of Nations groups from the out-going...

 (EFD) and is represented by 32 MEPs from nine countries.

Czech Republic


In May 2010, the Czech president Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus
Václav Klaus is the second President of the Czech Republic and a former Prime Minister .An economist, he is co-founder of the Civic Democratic Party, the Czech Republic's largest center-right political party. Klaus is a eurosceptic, but he reluctantly endorsed the Lisbon treaty as president of...

 claimed that they "needn’t hurry to enter the Euro zone".

Petr Mach
Petr Mach
Petr Mach is Czech economist and politician.Mach was chairman of the Young Conservatives, the Civic Democratic Party's youth wing, in 1997...

, an economist, a close associate of president Václav Klaus and a member of the Civic Democratic Party between 1997 and 2007, founded the Free Citizens Party in 2009. The party aims to mainly attract dissatisfied Civic Democratic Party voters. At the time of the Lisbon Treaty ratification
Ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon
The ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon was officially completed by all member states of the European Union on 13 November 2009 when the Czech Republic deposited its instrument of ratification with the Italian government...

, they were actively campaigning against it, unlike the governing Civic Democratic Party, who endorsed it in the Chamber of Deputies. After the treaty has been ratified, they are in favor of withdrawing from the European Union completely.

Denmark


The Unity Party
Danish Unity
Danish Unity was a political party in Denmark, founded in 1936 by Arne Sørensen. It contested elections in 1939, 1943, 1945, 1947, April 1953 and then once more in 1964. It remains as a political organisation....

 and Socialist People's Party
Socialist People's Party (Denmark)
The Socialist People's Party is a green and socialist political party in Denmark.-1959–69:The SF was founded on 15 February 1959 by Aksel Larsen, a former leader of the Communist Party of Denmark and CIA agent. Larsen was removed from the ranks of the DKP for his criticism over the Soviet...

 (Greens) were against accession to the European Union, but only the Unity Party has withdrawal from the EU as a policy. The right wing Danish People's Party
Danish People's Party
The Danish People's Party is a political party in Denmark which is frequently described as right-wing populist by political scientists and commentators. The party is led by Pia Kjærsgaard...

 also advocate withdrawal.

Estonia


The Independence Party
Estonian Independence Party
The Estonian Independence Party is a nationalist political party in Estonia. The party, founded in 1999, is a successor to the Estonian Future Party. One of the principal aims of the party is the withdrawal of Estonia from the European Union. The party is currently without parliamentary...

 and Centre Party
Estonian Centre Party
The Estonian Centre Party is a centrist, social liberal party in Estonia. Keskerakond is a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. It has the largest membership of an Estonian party, with over 12 000 members....

 were against accession to the EU, but only the Independence Party still wants Estonia to withdraw from the European Union.

France


In France many parties are more or less radically eurosceptic, from siding for less EU intervention in national affairs to outright withdrawing from the EU as it is and the Eurozone. These parties belong to all sides of the political spectrum so the reasons for their euroscepticism may differ but they all opposed the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
The Treaty of Lisbon of 1668 was a peace treaty between Portugal and Spain, concluded at Lisbon on 13 February 1668, through the mediation of England, in which Spain recognized the sovereignty of Portugal's new ruling dynasty, the House of Braganza....

. A certain disinterest of the French people exists, considering approximately 60% of the French electorate did not vote for the 2009 European Parliament elections
European Parliament election, 2009 (France)
European elections to elect 72 French Members of the European Parliament were held on Sunday 7 June 2009.Due to the entry of Romania and Bulgaria in the European Union in 2007, the number of seats allocated to France was revised from 78 seats to 72 seats, a loss of 6 seats...

.

Right-wing eurosceptic parties include the gaullist
Gaullism
Gaullism is a French political ideology based on the thought and action of Resistance leader then president Charles de Gaulle.-Foreign policy:...

 Debout la République
Arise the Republic
Arise the Republic is a political party in France that used to be a faction within the ruling Union for a Popular Movement . The party claims itself to be a traditional Gaullist group....

, and also the Mouvement pour la France, and Chasse, Pêche, Nature & Traditions both of which joined Libertas
Libertas.eu
Libertas is a political party founded by Declan Ganley that took part in the European Parliament election, 2009 in several member states of the European Union.-Preamble:...

, a pan-European eurosceptic party. For the 2009 European Parliament elections
European Parliament election, 2009 (France)
European elections to elect 72 French Members of the European Parliament were held on Sunday 7 June 2009.Due to the entry of Romania and Bulgaria in the European Union in 2007, the number of seats allocated to France was revised from 78 seats to 72 seats, a loss of 6 seats...

, Debout la République obtained 1,77% of the national vote, and Libertas 4,8%. The French far-right in general is naturally opposed to the EU as, similarly to right-wing parties, they criticize France's loss of political and economic sovereignty to a supra-national entity. Its main political party is the Front National
Front National (France)
The National Front is a political party in France. The party was founded in 1972, seeking to unify a variety of French far-right currents of the time. Jean-Marie Le Pen was the party's first leader and the undisputed centre of the party from its start until his resignation in 2011...

. The party obtained 6,5% of the votes, which makes it the largest eurosceptic party in France.

Left-wing eurosceptic parties tend to criticize the liberal agenda of the EU, although they usually support a unification of countries (albeit under a socialist system), and the abolition of national borders. They include the Parti de Gauche
Left Party (France)
The Left Party is a French democratic socialist political party. It seeks to emulate the German political party Die Linke led by Gesine Lötzsch and Klaus Ernst.- History :...

 and the French Communist Party
French Communist Party
The French Communist Party is a political party in France which advocates the principles of communism.Although its electoral support has declined in recent decades, the PCF retains a large membership, behind only that of the Union for a Popular Movement , and considerable influence in French...

, which formed the Front de Gauche
Left Front (France)
The Left Front is a French electoral coalition for the 2009 European elections composed primarily of the French Communist Party, the Left Party and the Unitarian Left...

 for the 2009 European Parliament elections and obtained 6,3% of the votes. The other major far-left eurosceptic parties are the New Anticapitalist Party
New Anticapitalist Party
The New Anticapitalist Party is a French political party founded in February 2009. Its name was originally intended to be temporary; a vote on the name being held at the founding congress on 6–8 February 2009, where NPA won over "Revolutionary Anticapitalist Party" with 53% of the vote.The party ...

 which obtained 4,8% and Lutte Ouvrière
Workers' Struggle
Lutte Ouvrière is the usual name under which the Union Communiste , a French Trotskyist political party, is known, after the name of its weekly paper. Arlette Laguiller has been its spokeswoman since 1973 and has run in each presidential election, but Robert Barcia was its founder and central...

 only 1,2%. The Citizen and Republican Movement
Citizen and Republican Movement
The Citizen and Republican Movement is a political party in France. The party replaced, in 2002, the Citizens' Movement founded by Jean-Pierre Chevènement, who left the Socialist Party in 1993 due to his opposition to the Persian Gulf War and to the Maastricht Treaty...

, a left-wing eurosceptic and souverainist
Souverainism
Souverainism , or sovereigntism is a doctrine which supports acquiring or preserving political independence of a nation or a region...

 party, did not participate in the 2009 elections.

Greece


Communist Party of Greece
Communist Party of Greece
Founded in 1918, the Communist Party of Greece , better known by its acronym, ΚΚΕ , is the oldest party on the Greek political scene.- Foundation :...

, Golden Dawn (Greece), Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow
Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow
The Front of the Greek Anticapitalist Left, in Greek Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow is a coalition of radical left political organisations in Greece. The Greek word antarsia means "mutiny"...

, Popular Orthodox Rally
Popular Orthodox Rally
The Popular Orthodox Rally or The People's Orthodox Rally , often abbreviated to ΛΑ.Ο.Σ as a pun on the Greek word for people, is a Greek party. According to its political program LA.O.S...


Ireland


The left wing republican party Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 is a soft eurosceptic party.

Luxembourg


The Alternative Democratic Reform Party
Alternative Democratic Reform Party
The Alternative Democratic Reform Party , abbreviated to ADR, is a conservative political party in Luxembourg. It has four seats in the sixty-seat Chamber of Deputies, making it the fifth-largest party....

 is a soft eurosceptic party. It is a member of the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists
The Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists, abbreviated to AECR, is a centre-right anti-federalist European political party defending broader conservative and classical liberal principles. It consists of twelve parties in nine EU member states and Iceland...

.

Netherlands


Partij voor de Vrijheid, Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij, ChristenUnie, Socialistische Partij
Socialistische Partij
Socialistische Partij may refer toNetherlands parties:* Socialist Party * Socialist Party Belgian parties:* Socialist Party - Different* Socialist Party...


Poland


Congress of the New Right
Congress of the New Right
Congress of the New Right is a conservative liberal political party in Poland. It was founded on 25 March 2011 by Janusz Korwin-Mikke from the merger of Freedom and Lawfulness with the Real Politics Union.- Ideology :...

, Real Politics Union
Real Politics Union
The Real Politics Union , abbreviated to UPR, was a free market-emphasizing conservative political party in Poland. It was composed of conservatives, libertarians and monarchists...


Portugal



National Renovator Party
National Renovator Party
The National Renovator Party , or PNR, is a Portuguese nationalist political party. Its motto is Nation and Labor and one of its objectives is the promotion of a Portuguese nationalist spirit. It believes that nationalism is putting the interests of the nation above sectarian interests...

, New Democracy Party, Portuguese Communist Party
Portuguese Communist Party
The Portuguese Communist Party is a major left-wing political party in Portugal. It is a Marxist-Leninist party, and its organization is based upon democratic centralism. The party also considers itself to be patriotic and internationalist....

, People's Party (Soft eurosceptic)

Sweden


The Left Party of Sweden was against accession to the European Union and still wants Sweden to leave the European Union. The Green Party
Green Party (Sweden)
-External links:**...

 also advocates a withdrawal from the European Union.
The Sweden Democrats
Sweden Democrats
The Sweden Democrats is a political party in Sweden, founded in 1988. SD describes itself as a nationalist movement although others use the term far-right. Since 2005, its party chairman is Jimmie Åkesson, while Björn Söder is the party secretary and parliamentary group leader. An Anemone...

 Are also strongly against the Union and favours withdrawal and rejoin the EEA.

Switzerland


Swiss Democrats
Swiss Democrats
The Swiss Democrats are a right-wing political party in Switzerland.The party is not represented in the Federal Assembly, but has two members of the Grand Council of Aargau....

, Ticino League
Ticino League
The Ticino League is an isolationist, national conservative political party in Switzerland active in the canton of Ticino.In 1991, after some public campaigning in the Sunday journal Mattino della Domenica against political power and use of public money, the editor Giuliano Bignasca and the...

, Swiss People's Party
Swiss People's Party
The Swiss People's Party , also known as the Democratic Union of the Centre , is a conservative political party in Switzerland. Chaired by Toni Brunner, but spearheaded by Christoph Blocher, the party is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of...

 are against accession of Switzerland to the European Union.

United Kingdom


Euroscepticism in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 has been a significant element in British politics since the inception of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

 (EEC), the predecessor to the EU.

The United Kingdom Independence Party
United Kingdom Independence Party
The United Kingdom Independence Party is a eurosceptic and right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. Whilst its primary goal is the UK's withdrawal from the European Union, the party has expanded beyond its single-issue image to develop a more comprehensive party platform.UKIP...

 (UKIP) was formed in 1993 and focuses on EU-withdrawal as its primary policy and receives significant support in European elections. It received 16.5% of the vote at the 2009 European Parliament elections
European Parliament election, 2009 (United Kingdom)
The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for which was held on Thursday 4 June 2009, coinciding with the 2009 local elections in England. Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 7 June, after...

, putting it in second place ahead of the then governing Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

. The British National Party
British National Party
The British National Party is a British far-right political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982...

 (BNP) is another strongly eurosceptic party that campaigns heavily for withdrawal. Two BNP candidates, Andrew Brons
Andrew Brons
Andrew Henry William Brons is a British politician. Long active in far right politics in Britain, he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber for the British National Party at the 2009 European Parliament election...

 and Nick Griffin
Nick Griffin
Nicholas John "Nick" Griffin is a British politician, chairman of the British National Party and Member of the European Parliament for North West England....

, were elected to the European Parliament in 2009.

The Conservative Party
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 has campaigned against entry to the European Monetary Union and the Social chapter. The Labour Party membership is more eurosceptic than the party leadership, which is something the Conservative leadership has sought to exploit. Bernie Grant, a Labour Member of Parliament said that he was "totally pro-Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and anti-European Union".

The Communist Party of Britain
Communist Party of Britain
The Communist Party of Britain is a communist political party in Great Britain. Although founded in 1988 it traces its origins back to 1920 and the Communist Party of Great Britain, and claims the legacy of that party and its most influential members Harry Pollitt and John Gollan as its...

 and The Socialist Workers Party both criticise the European Union from an ultra-left perspective and their 'scepticism' is a form of left-wing euroscepticism although its adherents may reject the term.

The Green Party of England and Wales
Green Party of England and Wales
The Green Party of England and Wales is a political party in England and Wales which follows the traditions of Green politics and maintains a strong commitment to social progressivism. It is the largest Green party in the United Kingdom, containing within it various regional divisions including...

also rejects the term 'eurosceptic' however it opposes the euro and is critical of the current direction and structure of the EU. This amounts to 'soft' euroscepticism in all but name.