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Working paper

EU Political System’s Resilience In The Age Of Politicization: Lessons From The 2019 European Parliament Elections"

The democratic deficit problem in the EU polity is becoming more relevant in the context of the multifaceted crisis and the politicization of European integration. Taking into account that the category of resilience is actively used in the official EU discourse as a system’s ability to reform and to counter threats, it is interesting, from a research point of view, to consider the use of resilience as an analytical optics to view the current EU internal political development. This article analyzes, in terms of resilience, the attempts of the EU’s mainstream actors to improve the democratic elements of the EU’s institutional structure during the European Parliament (EP) elections 2019 and their relationships with the agents of EU politicization – right-wing populist actors. The main findings suggest that (1) EU politicization exacerbates the problem of the democratic deficit and forces mainstream actors to seek strategies to increase the resilience of the whole system; (2) in order to preserve their own subjectness in the face of growing populism and the politicization of European integration, mainstream actors choose a strategy of depoliticization, which has decreased the EU resilience; (3) right-wing populist actors are agents of politicization, they play an ambivalent role in relation to EU resilience, being a resource and a threat.