European Integration and the Rise of National Populist Parties

This project is supported by our academic partner Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim and the researchers Sebastian Blesse and Thomas Schwab.


In recent years, there has been a rise of EU-sceptic party’s across EU member states, e.g. ‘Alternative für Deutschland’ in Germany, ‘Front du National’ or ´Jobbik´ in Hungary. The resurgence of nationalism culminated last year in UK’s popular vote for the Brexit. In many aspects, nationalist parties challenge both the status quo -as shown by the separatist vote in the UK- and the process of further European Integration. First, an up rise of individual nationalist parties (and revealed voter support) might make national policy makers adapt to the more nationally oriented public opinion in order to stay in office and hence, undermine coordination within the Union. At extreme, this might even lead to disintegration as shown by the UK. Second, a larger polarization in the electorate of the EU member states driven by of nationalist powers might challenge societal stability within member states across the European Union. Third, the financial and sovereign debt crises starting in 2009 revealed severe shortcomings in the current architecture of the European Union and the Euro area.


Union-wide reforms are needed to increase stability across member states, prevent future crises and foster future welfare in Europe. Nationalist tendencies, implying lower willingness to coordinate and delegate tasks to the EU level might put the European reform process at danger. Moreover, current compliance with existing rules of the Union such as reform requirements in exchange for loans from the European stability mechanism (ESM) might be challenged by individual nationalist ´free-riders´.


How can Europe cope with increasing nationalism? What can be done to support the European Union in an environment of diverging preferences? Is a resurgence of nationalism even a chance for a new legitimacy and accountability of the Union? Who is responsible: the EU, member states or is it a story told by the legacy of financial crisis? Can Europe adapt more legitimacy, be more accountable and incorporate more direct democracy? How can the European value added be measured and communicated?

YES! Team


Logo Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium Dillingen
Logo Hohe Landesschule Hanau

The topic “European Integration and the Rise of National Populist Parties” can be selected by YES!  teams from the region South-West as a YES! 2017 topic.


This topic has been chosen by the YES! teams of the Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium Dillingen and the Hohe Landesschule Hanau.


The YES! 2017 team Albert-Schweitzer-Gymnasium Dillingen introduces itself here. The YES! 2017 team of the Hohe Landesschule Hanau presents their introduction page here.

Academic Partner


Logo Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung (ZEW) Mannheim

The project “European Integration and the Rise of National Populist Parties” was proposed by researchers of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW) in Mannheim. The YES!-teams are supported by the researchers Sebastian Blesse and Thomas Schwab.

Joint Project of

The YES! – Young Economic Summit is a joint project of the  ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and the Joachim Herz Stiftung in Hamburg.


The ZBW is the world’s largest information centre for economic literature and excellently positioned to help students gain information literacy and provide relevant resources.


The Joachim Herz Stiftung is economically independent and politically neutral. The foundation has a wide experience in developing ideas and implementing projects for young people, in particular on economic education.

Logo Joachim Herz Stiftung


Laura Bickel
Project Manager
t: +49 (0) 431 8814 359

Portrait Kai Meinke

Kai Meinke
Project Manager
t: +49 (0) 431 8814 643

Photo credits (top to bottom): (c) / Delpixel, (c) Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung GmbH (ZEW) Mannheim, (c) / Delpixel, (c) ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft, (c) Joachim Herz Stiftung.