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Familiarity Doesn’t Breed Contempt: Polish Attitudes Toward European Integration in a Comparative Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  efficiency of their work (-5%) (CBOS 2005b). Still, the research expects a possible negative dependent or independent relationship with the domestic political context, depending on the salience of the EU at the domestic level. The EU was always a non-relevant issue in political debates during the first years of membership. Up to May 2005 a possible referendum on the Constitutional Treaty did not raise any type of debates. In April 2007, when the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, restarted the debate on the Constitutional Treaty, newspapers followed the EU events and debates, but just up to the new Ukrainian crisis. The Polish government could play a major role and acquire international recognition, and it was perceived both by political elites and public opinion as more important, and the EU issue was again eclipsed. The domestic political variable is expected to be less important compared to the economic proxy variables both before and after accession - and likely to be independent. Before accession, it is possible to test also the variable ‘on the direction of the country’. However, this variable was not used after accession in the 2005 PNES. As for the previous domestic variables, the analysis expects a non-linear relationship. The research assumes that it is the easiest proxy to be chosen in case of lack of knowledge, and every survey under examination (CBOS, EB) uses this questions, allowing to easily cross-check the results at different levels of analysis. The last independent variable is the European variable. The analysis expects that, despite a non-direct knowledge before accession, citizens could have a general idea of the EU. Still outside the EU, citizens, particularly of the former communist area, can perceive that integration is something positive for the country (as also in Tverdova and Anderson 2004). Even though there is a correlation between ‘thinking that EU integration is good for the country’ and willingness to vote in favour of integration, data gives evidence that one fourth and one tenth of Poles could take their vote independently by benefits at the country level. Testing this variable with the domestic proxies will measure the salience of benefits at the country level in comparison with the other factors. This question is also not used in the 2005 PNES, but the impact of the EU can be measured using different variables and descriptive statistics. This study expects that before accession Polish public opinion supported the EU basically on the idea that integration was beneficial for the country. If the domestic context was considered negatively, then Poles could inversely support the EU, because within the supranational organisation the domestic institutions could learn and improve their structures. After accession the first benefits were realised and are visible within the increasing percentages of support among young people, farmers, and businessmen (Hofmokl et al. 2006). 9

Authors: Guerra, Simona.
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efficiency of their work (-5%) (CBOS 2005b). Still, the research expects a possible negative
dependent or independent relationship with the domestic political context, depending on the
salience of the EU at the domestic level. The EU was always a non-relevant issue in political
debates during the first years of membership. Up to May 2005 a possible referendum on the
Constitutional Treaty did not raise any type of debates. In April 2007, when the German
Chancellor, Angela Merkel, restarted the debate on the Constitutional Treaty, newspapers
followed the EU events and debates, but just up to the new Ukrainian crisis. The Polish
government could play a major role and acquire international recognition, and it was
perceived both by political elites and public opinion as more important, and the EU issue was
again eclipsed. The domestic political variable is expected to be less important compared to
the economic proxy variables both before and after accession - and likely to be independent.
Before accession, it is possible to test also the variable ‘on the direction of the country’.
However, this variable was not used after accession in the 2005 PNES. As for the previous
domestic variables, the analysis expects a non-linear relationship. The research assumes that
it is the easiest proxy to be chosen in case of lack of knowledge, and every survey under
examination (CBOS, EB) uses this questions, allowing to easily cross-check the results at
different levels of analysis.
The last independent variable is the European variable. The analysis expects that, despite a
non-direct knowledge before accession, citizens could have a general idea of the EU. Still
outside the EU, citizens, particularly of the former communist area, can perceive that
integration is something positive for the country (as also in Tverdova and Anderson 2004).
Even though there is a correlation between ‘thinking that EU integration is good for the
country’ and willingness to vote in favour of integration, data gives evidence that one fourth
and one tenth of Poles could take their vote independently by benefits at the country level.
Testing this variable with the domestic proxies will measure the salience of benefits at the
country level in comparison with the other factors. This question is also not used in the 2005
PNES, but the impact of the EU can be measured using different variables and descriptive
statistics. This study expects that before accession Polish public opinion supported the EU
basically on the idea that integration was beneficial for the country. If the domestic context
was considered negatively, then Poles could inversely support the EU, because within the
supranational organisation the domestic institutions could learn and improve their structures.
After accession the first benefits were realised and are visible within the increasing
percentages of support among young people, farmers, and businessmen (Hofmokl et al. 2006).
9


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