The surge of radical, populist and Eurosceptic forces in the last European elections came on the heels of the EU's active involvement in the Ukraine crisis, the biggest test of its capacity and seriousness as a foreign policy actor to date. This is unsettling, since a more active and coherent projection of European interests and values internationally was always thought to be a way to strengthen the appeal of European integration at home.
Angelos Chryssogelos of the University of Limerick examines the ways radical parties of the right and left in Europe interpreted and positioned themselves vis-à-vis the Ukraine crisis. Of particular interest here is the appeal of Vladimir Putin's regime to parties espousing majoritarian and illiberal modes of popular rule in Europe as alternatives to rules-based multilevel governance.
How is the encounter between the EU and a semi-authoritarian populist regime abroad framed by populist Eurosceptic forces? Is EU foreign policy actually offering an opportunity to populist and radical parties to strengthen their message and critique of the way politics is made in an ever-integrated Europe? And what does this say about the depth of challenges to European democracy and the legitimacy of European integration in a context of crisis?