This article seeks to explain the marked downturn in French public support for the European Union in the early 1990s. Although public support has increased since 1997, voting for Eurosceptic parties has remained important although such parties continue to be marginalized in national elections. The article discusses party‐based Euroscepticism in the context of the domestic party system and political institutions. It further analyses French policy on European integration and notes difficulties associated with domestic adjustment to macroeconomic decisions at European level, with reference to debates about ‘French exceptionalism*. It concludes that political leadership can shape public reactions to adjustment.
- European Union
- French politics
- political parties
- public opinion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations