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Regional Interest Representation in Brussels and the Link to Citizen Attitudes towards European Integration

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Abstract:

Who are the greatest supporters of the European Union (EU)? Recent developments show that public support for European integration is essential, both for the democratic legitimacy of the EU, and for enabling any further integration. The puzzle inspiring this paper is the finding that the greatest support for the EU increasingly comes from sub-state regions seeking to bypass their national governments to achieve their policy goals at the EU level. This paper empirically tests this assumption, while shedding light on the relationship between the quality of representation of regional interests at the EU level and positive citizen attitudes towards the EU. In particular, it seeks two potential explanations for cross-regional variation in the relationship between Euroscepticism and representation: (1) a cultural explanation, embodied by a difference in the nature and quality of representation between regions that are linguistically distinctive and regions that are not; and (2) an institutional explanation, embodied by a difference in the nature and quality of representation between regions from federal and non-federal member states. The paper matches findings from the 2008 Flash Eurobarometer survey on citizens’ perceptions of EU Regional Policy with forty in-depth elite interviews about the activities and goals of regional representatives in Brussels. This paper takes the study of Euroscepticism to a new—regional—level of analysis. At the same time it strengthens the notion of a growing importance of a “Europe of the regions” by providing evidence of the growing intensity of the networking and lobbying activities of regional offices in Brussels.

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region (255), european (171), eu (154), integr (92), level (85), state (84), 1 (70), feder (69), offic (62), polit (62), variabl (60), support (60), ident (60), may (52), nation (51), 2008 (48), n (47), director (47), represent (47), member (45), union (44),
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Association:
Name: Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies
URL:
http://www.ces.columbia.edu


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399603_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Olsson, Anna. "Regional Interest Representation in Brussels and the Link to Citizen Attitudes towards European Integration" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada, Apr 15, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399603_index.html>

APA Citation:

Olsson, A. M. , 2010-04-15 "Regional Interest Representation in Brussels and the Link to Citizen Attitudes towards European Integration" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Seventeenth International Conference of the Council for European Studies, Grand Plaza, Montreal, Canada Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p399603_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Who are the greatest supporters of the European Union (EU)? Recent developments show that public support for European integration is essential, both for the democratic legitimacy of the EU, and for enabling any further integration. The puzzle inspiring this paper is the finding that the greatest support for the EU increasingly comes from sub-state regions seeking to bypass their national governments to achieve their policy goals at the EU level. This paper empirically tests this assumption, while shedding light on the relationship between the quality of representation of regional interests at the EU level and positive citizen attitudes towards the EU. In particular, it seeks two potential explanations for cross-regional variation in the relationship between Euroscepticism and representation: (1) a cultural explanation, embodied by a difference in the nature and quality of representation between regions that are linguistically distinctive and regions that are not; and (2) an institutional explanation, embodied by a difference in the nature and quality of representation between regions from federal and non-federal member states. The paper matches findings from the 2008 Flash Eurobarometer survey on citizens’ perceptions of EU Regional Policy with forty in-depth elite interviews about the activities and goals of regional representatives in Brussels. This paper takes the study of Euroscepticism to a new—regional—level of analysis. At the same time it strengthens the notion of a growing importance of a “Europe of the regions” by providing evidence of the growing intensity of the networking and lobbying activities of regional offices in Brussels.


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