External Veto Actors, Public Opinion, and the Transformation of EU-Skeptic Parties in Croatia and Serbia Print

Andrew Konitzer, Samford University

Abstract

In order to explain the creation of pro-European Union party consensus in former Yugoslav states, this paper presents a rational model of party change whereby public attitudes toward the European Union, combined with the use of external vetoes by European actors induce a conflict between party extroverts and introverts in EU-skeptic/anti-EU parties which leads either to a split in these parties or to a change to more pro-EU rhetoric. The model is applied to the cases of the Croatian Democratic Union, the Serbian Socialist Party and the Serbian Radical Party to account for changes in party rhetoric in these formerly Euro-skeptic and EU-skeptic/anti-EU parties.