New Issue – European Integration online Papers (EloP)

The new issue ofEuropean Integration online Papers (EloP) is now available online.

Multidimensionality of EU attitudes in France

To be submitted soon as part of the special mini-issue, ‘Beyond Euro-skepticism: Understanding attitudes towards the EU’ in European Integration online Papers. Please check back in Mid-March.

Trust in the institutions of the European Union: A cross-country examination

Trust in political institutions is one of the key elements which make representative democracies work. Trust creates a connection between citizens and representative political institutions. Democratic governments which enjoy a large degree of trust also tend to have higher degrees of legitimacy and policy efficacy. In Europe’s multi-level governance structure, it is imperative to understand the determinants of trust in the institutions of the European Union. With the increasing salience of the European Union, are domestic proxies still a key determinant of evaluating its institutions? Are there differences across the institutions and across the member states? We demonstrate that country-level corruption levels are what drives the relationship between domestic and European institutional trust. The majority of the variation in trust in the institutions of the European Union is, however, driven by individual-level predictors. We also find that individuals across Europe evaluate the institutions of the European Union through a single attitude dimension of political trust rather than through separate evaluations.

Support for Europe: Assessing the complexity of individual attitudes

Recent scholarly work has underlined the importance of being cautious about the notion of Euro-skepticism by putting stress on alternative concepts and measures. This theoretical and empirical contribution has enriched the debate on support for Europe and its potential multidimensionality. However, the fit between theoretical conceptualization and measured attitudes is still under-investigated. Do European citizens actually express different types of support? To what extent are these attitudes structured as we think? This paper investigates the different dimensions that individuals associate with “support for Europe” and whether it varies across national context. We test the empirical validity of three conceptualizations of support for Europe: (a) diffuse versus specific support, (b) identity versus diffuse support, (c) static versus dynamic perception of the European Union. To investigate these patterns, we relied on survey data from Eurobarometer. Methodologically, we use item-response theory modelling. This paper demonstrates that attitudes towards Europe are structured but in a less fine-grained manner than hypothesized in the literature. The distinction between diffuse and specific support is robust at the European scale as well as within each national context. Consequently, we provide an empirical tool to comparatively measure support in all member states. However it is not the case for the other dimensions of support, especially identity, and we advocate caution in using this variable as an explanatory variable.

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