Despite the emergence of a critical debate against the EU-imposed austerity measures both at the level of the political elites and on the street, this EPIN Commentary by two Spanish political scientists based in Barcelona finds no sign that the upcoming European elections will have a more European focus than any of the previous ones. While there is no anti-European discourse among the Spanish mainstream political parties, they report that public trust in the European institutions is plummeting and Spanish turnout in European elections has been dropping in the last few years. In the authors’ view, the main reason for this is the low level of awareness of the functioning of the European Parliament but some responsibility also lies with the Spanish political parties and the way they deal with the electoral campaign to mobilise the discontented voters, who consider unemployment and the economic situation as the two most important issues that the country is facing at the moment.
Carme Colomina is an Associate Researcher and Elina Viilup is a Research Fellow at the CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs). This paper is the fifth in a series of Commentaries by EPIN researchers, aimed at examining the European elections in May 2014 from an EU perspective and considering the outlook for the elections in various member states.