Fiscal Redistribution and Public Support for European Integration
Forthcoming in European Union Politics
37 Pages Posted: 22 Jan 2015 Last revised: 2 Feb 2015
Date Written: January 1, 2015
This article contributes to existing debates on public opinion towards European integration by examining when and why fiscal transfers and public support are systematically related. Drawing on economic and identity-related theories, we develop and test hypotheses about the links between EU fiscal transfers among countries and subnational jurisdictions, and citizens’ support for European integration. Using a three-level analysis of residents in 143 regions in 16 EU member states, we find a positive effect of EU transfers among both countries and subnational jurisdictions on support for European integration among those with a European communal identity. We also find that this effect increases the more politically aware individuals are. The article sketches the broader implications of our findings for public opinion research on regional integration beyond the European Union.
Keywords: European integration, public opinion, identity, fiscal redistribution, EU budget, EU structural funds
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