Support for Euroscepticism in the EU is stimulated by a wide scope of various social, economic, political, and cultural factors. However, they often shape Eurosceptic moods differently in each EU member state. Today the Russian aggression against Ukraine made security a crucial topic of the European public debate. It influences decisively- though, sometimes in the opposite way- attitudes towards the EU. In certain countries, for instance, in Poland, which borders Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, the Kremlin’s neo-imperial policy is perceived as a vital threat to its security. Therefore, France’s and particularly Germany’s hesitant position on military support for Kiev undermines considerably credibility of both countries in the Polish society. This situation is misused by Eurosceptic political forces in Poland as a pretext to criticize fiercely the EU. In other countries, for instance, in Italy, a substantial minority of Italians does not endorse the Western support for Ukraine and even blames the West for the war. These ideas are promoted in internet by Russian and pro-Kremlin local propaganda. In effect, certain Italian Eurosceptic parties try to build political capital by opposing the supply of weapons to Kiev and expressing understanding for Russia’s interests.
In order to comprehend the complex expressions of Euroscepticism and project possible scenarios of its further development WiseEUROPA together with the University of Rzeszów organizes a public debate “The war in Ukraine and different shades of Euroscepticism” which will begin with a short lecture on the relations between right-wing populists in the EU and the US and its impact on the security of Europe. It will take place in Rzeszów which is the largest city in the EU located so close to Ukraine.
The debate will be conducted within the framework of the project “EUscepticOBS: analysing Euroscepticism, informing citizens and encouraging debates” co-funded by the European Commission and implemented in cooperation with partners from France, Hungary and Sweden. The debate will be accompanied by a presentation of the webpage EUscepticOBS which will serve as a data base of Eurosceptic political parties. It will describe their history, relations between them, and their Eurosceptic ideology and top priorities. During the event we will also present conclusions of workshop with citizens of Rzeszów and its surroundings.