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“It would be wrong to attribute the rise in euroscepticism entirely to national issues or the rejection of the European project,” argued ING analysts. “While this may be the case when national and European electoral campaigns are very similar, surveys suggest people are able to differentiate between them.”

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“The problem is that these fears are secondary compared to their main concerns which include things like purchasing power and growing old. This distance logically breeds disinterest, seen in the high abstention rates which, in turn, have an impact on the share of traditional parties in parliament.”

“On the other hand, putting transnational topics back at the heart of discussions at the European level such as agreements to fight climate change, border security and Schengen reform) could lower the abstention rate and limit the rise of euroscepticism. The challenge, often voiced, of ensuring that citizens feel closer to Brussels, requires highly publicised successes in these areas.”

“These numbers also remind us that support for Europe continues to be strong and that citizens know where it can have an impact. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t times when there is confusion between national and European election campaigns, but it would be wrong to assume that the majority of citizens confuse the challenges. Even though the rise of eurosceptic parties could change the dynamics of the European parliament, the European project itself is certain to have a bright future.”