Euroscepticism and EKRE: how nativism influences the Euroscepticism of Estonia’s largest populist radical right party



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Tartu Ülikool


The Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE) has rapidly grown in popularity over the course of seven years. After officially forming in 2013, the party won 8% of the seats in the Estonian Parliament in the 2015 elections. Then, in 2019, the party more than doubled this number when it won 19% of the seats in the parliament. The party has accomplished this impressive feat while advocating for the Estonian government to place a greater emphasis on sovreignity and traditional values. In addition to this emphasis on nativism, the party also promotes Eurosceptic language in both its policy goals and rhetoric. This thesis sets out to prove that, in the case of EKRE, this concern over cultural issues is related to the Eurosceptic nature of the party. By conducting interviews with party leaders, three categories of codes were created. Those categories are, Euroscepticism, nativism, and populism. From these codes, this thesis comes to the conclusion that EKRE is a hard-Eurosceptic party and its hard-Eurosceptic beliefs are fueled by nativism.