The Instrumentalization of Euroscepticism in the Eastern-Mediterranean

Sharon Pardo, Neve Gordon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter advances three arguments about Euroscepticism. First, using Israel as a case study we describe its alliances with Eurosceptic political actors, claiming that while each side hopes to benefit from these alliances to advance particular interests, the attraction among the actors are based on ideological affinities that do not align with the norms informing EU policies. If these norms become more contested, it may make it more difficult to construct a ‘normative power’ based approach in EU foreign policy, hence alleviating external pressures, in our case directed against Israel. Second, we reveal how Euroscepticism can be used by third parties in the Eastern-Mediterranean as an instrument for shaping EU foreign policy, showing how Israel exploited the Eurosceptic proclivities of an EU member state to alter the conclusions of the Foreign Affair Council. Finally, we expose how this strategy produces a political paradox. By allowing itself to become an instrument deployed by a third party, the Eurosceptic member state also agrees to be pushed back into the fold of the EU apparatus, thus reconstituting itself as an internal actor which has stakes in the process and is willing to play by the rules of the game.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe New Eastern Mediterranean Transformed
EditorsAristotle Tziampiris, Foteini Asderaki
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2021


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