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Determinants of Support for European Integration : The case of Bulgaria

[journal article]

Tanasoiu, Cosmina; Colonescu, Constantin

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Abstract The electorate's ability to influence the European agenda through European elections and national referenda has led to a close inspection of public attitudes by both academics and politicians. Taking a micro-level approach, this article contributes to the larger literature on the formation of public attitudes and aims at identifying the factors that influence public attitudes towards European integration in Bulgaria, one of the new member states. We use a national survey and rely upon utilitarian, value-based and heuristic factors to test several hypotheses. Although our data confirm the argument that support is higher in countries with lower opportunity costs of transferring sovereignty to the European Union, we also find that EU membership is assessed by projecting potential benefits for future generations rather than self-centered expectations of immediate returns.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Free Keywords Bulgaria; economic performance; European integration; national government; public attitudes;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 363-377
Journal European Union Politics, 9 (2008) 3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)