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Spread of Populism in Major EU Countries and its Policy Implications

대외경제정책연구원2017.05.11

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The UK voters' decision to leave the European Union (EU) despite the near-unanimous warnings of economists sparked serious concerns about the spread of populism in major EU countries. Today’s populists in major EU countries pit people against elites and "others," and present themselves as representing people and other parties as representing elites and others, respectively. The current phase of the rising support for them started out of the public discontents during the "great recession", and was boosted by the mass influx of refugees and a series of terrorist incidents, allowing them a significant presence in national legislatures and the European parliament. They blame "the establishment" for major problems of the EU and their respective countries, and present themselves as the savior. This edition of the World Economy Brief outlines the current situation of populism in major EU countries and surveys related economics literature for the causes and implications of this phenomenon.

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