ABSTRACT

This chapter reflects the findings and their lessons for the academic debates on EU politicisation, democratisation, and identity formation in relation to the key events of Brexit and the French elections in 2022. The explanatory theses and models developed in the previous chapters are applied to the Brexit referendum discourse, finding that it matches the process model developed in Chapter 6. On this basis, the concepts of populism and Euroscepticism are critically discussed and it is argued that in representative democracies, legitimate criticism is to be distinguished from populism and Euroscepticism. Furthermore, populism is often linked to political crises. It is further argued that the French EU referendum discourse 2005 must be seen against the background of a long-standing deep crisis of French political culture that also found expression in the last French election series in 2022. On this basis, it is argued that EU democratisation must be based on EU politicisation, and a taxonomy of four interrelations between EU democratisation, politicisation, and integration is developed. This chapter concludes with the argument that EU democratisation must be based on the critical informed EU citizen.