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Quality & Quantity

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 2535–2551 | Cite as

In the end, will we all be Europeans? A two-phase analysis of citizens’ sentiment towards the EU

  • Giancarlo Manzi
  • Sonia Stefanizzi
  • Pier Alda Ferrari
Article
  • 231 Downloads

Abstract

In the last decades an increasing effort has been expended to spread out citizens’ awareness for the European Union as an institution, but more recently, mainly due to the economic crisis spread out from 2008 onwards, less positive attitudes have started to form. Regular monitoring on the state of citizens’ view towards the EU, performed through opinion surveys, has undoubtedly shown a constant decline in citizens’ enthusiasm. However, findings from this paper reveal that, even in times when increasing unemployment, deprivation and bad life standards are hardly hitting the EU member states, especially in Southern countries, an underlying predisposition still prevail when individual characteristics and features of the countries where citizens live in are taken in due account. This hidden attachment is analyzed on the subset of EU15 countries using a two-phase approach: (i) first, potential latent features both at individual and contextual level explaining the EU attachment are searched; then (ii) these features are combined in a two-level model where the individual expectations from the EU and the expenditure in research and development of the country result the best predictors.

Keywords

European sentiment Eurobarometer survey Nonlinear principal component analysis Multilevel models Latent variables 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the Editor and an anonymous reviewer for their comments on a previous version of this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative MethodsUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of Milan-BicoccaMilanItaly

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