Photo: “Bulgarian Parliament TodorBozhinov 041009” by Todor Bozhinov, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Panchugov, Hristo, and Ivan Nachev. “Bulgaria: Creeping EU-Scepticism—The Tacit Consent that Fuels Populism.” In Euroscepticism and the Future of Europe, pp. 17-20. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Abstract

The political turmoil of the early 90s saw unstable and short-lived governments, culminating in a political crisis in 1997. A new Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), pro-democratic and pro-European Government, firmly established the European Union (EU) perspective as the dominant paradigm in society. As a result, in the beginning of the twenty-first century the citizens of Bulgaria were extremely Europositive. The first year of EU membership saw that 78 percent of Bulgarians had positive attitudes towards the EU. Only 10 percent thought that the membership was bringing more negatives than positives. Some reminiscence of the anti-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Euroscepticism still could be found within the attitudes and the electorate of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). However, along the lines of issues with regards to the history of North Macedonia and protecting Bulgarian energy sector, both were fuelled by the pro-Russian sentiments within the BSP.