Download publication

Working Paper

Interest in European matters: a glass three-quarters full?

Everything that increases the interest of European citizens in the EU, independently of whether it has a critical or a supportive character, will serve to move the EU closer to its citizens.

By: , , and Date: March 23, 2021 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The authors would like to thank Michael Leigh, André Sapir, Guntram Wolff, Nicolas Véron, Joris Melman and Lorenzo Benadusi for useful suggestions and comments. Klaas Lenaerts provided intelligent research assistance.

A disconnect between European Union integration and the level of interest of EU citizens in European matters is a potential weakness in the EU’s democratic foundations. The existence and possible size of this disconnect is a critical issue in assessing the potential for further integration of the EU and the risks to its stability.

To move beyond qualitative assessments of this disconnect, we use three indicators to measure EU citizens’ interest in Europe: turnout in European Parliament elections relative to national elections, Eurobarometer surveys of interest in Europe, and the presence of European news in national newspapers, relative to all published news. We interpret our empirical results using three frameworks: Putnam’s social capital concept, the agenda-setting hypothesis and the no-demos hypothesis.

All three indicators point to an increased interest in European matters, especially since the 1990s and the creation of the euro. However, this result does not settle the issue of whether the increased level of interest matches the actual state of integration of the EU’s member countries. Our results indicate the European construction maintains a technocratic character.

Recommended citation:
Papadia, F., E. Bergamini, E. Mourlon-Druol and G. Porcaro (2021) ‘Interest in European matters: a glass three-quarters full?’ Working Paper 05/2021, Bruegel

Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Podcast

Podcast

Unboxing the State of the Union 2021

In this Sound of Economics Live episode, Bruegel experts look at the State of the Union address delivered by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: September 15, 2021
Read about event More on this topic
 

Past Event

Past Event

The Sound of Economics Live: Unboxing the State of the Union 2021

In this Sound of Economics Live episode, we look at the State of the Union address delivered by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission.

Speakers: Grégory Claeys, Maria Demertzis, Alicia García-Herrero and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: September 15, 2021
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Opinion

EU climate plan should involve taxing pollution, not borders

Climate change and taxes may be some of the only true certainties in life. To protect ourselves better, we should make careful choices on how they interact.

By: Rebecca Christie Topic: Energy & Climate Date: September 6, 2021
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Blog Post

The great infodemic: time to consider a fake news tax

A content-based tax on the revenue from digital advertising is needed to prevent the monetisation of fake news by both creators and platforms.

By: Georgios Petropoulos Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy Date: August 26, 2021
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Opinion

The end of globalisation as we know it

The tension between the unprecedented need for global collective action and a growing aspiration to rebuild political communities behind national borders is a defining challenge for today’s policymakers.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: Global Economics & Governance Date: July 1, 2021
Read article More on this topic
 

Blog Post

The Conference on the Future of Europe: vehicle for reform versus forum for reflection?

The approach of the European Union’s institutions to the Conference on the Future of Europe is muddled, with risks for the outcome.

By: Sergio Fabbrini, John Erik Fossum, Magdalena Góra and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 15, 2021
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Blog Post

Quo vadis, Swiss-European Union relations?

Switzerland’s decision to abandon talks on a framework agreement with the European Union will have far reaching consequences. The outline of future relations now depends both on the EU’s response and on domestic developments.

By: Stefanie Walter Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: June 7, 2021
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Blog Post

What Swiss voters expect to happen next, after EU talks fail

Proponents and opponents of the Swiss-EU institutional framework agreement have different takes on the impact of a success or failure of the agreement.

By: Stefanie Walter Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: May 31, 2021
Read article More on this topic
 

Blog Post

Do citizens care about Europe? More than they used to

The level of interest of European citizens in the European Union is increasing, but still lags behind EU economic and policy integration.

By: Enrico Bergamini, Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol, Francesco Papadia and Giuseppe Porcaro Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: April 26, 2021
Read article More on this topic More by this author
 

Podcast

Podcast

The idea of Europe: more than a feeling?

What can 70 years of news(paper articles) and how we talk about 'Europe' tell us about pan-European identity? Is there even such a thing as a European public sphere?

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: April 16, 2021
Read article Download PDF More on this topic
 

Working Paper

Talking about Europe: exploring 70 years of news archives

This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of Europe as reflected in European media.

By: Enrico Bergamini and Emmanuel Mourlon-Druol Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: March 2, 2021
Read article More by this author
 

Opinion

Europe’s recovery gamble

Next Generation EU, was rightly hailed as a major breakthrough: never before had the EU borrowed to finance expenditures, let alone transfers to member states. But the programme and its Recovery and Resilience Facility amount to a high-risk gamble.

By: Jean Pisani-Ferry Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, Finance & Financial Regulation Date: September 25, 2020
Load more posts