Citizens support the differentiated integration of their country

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Series Details 2022/29, Number 29
Publication Date 2022
ISBN 9789294662057


Do citizens support the differentiated integration of their country? Does differentiated integration even improve citizens’ support for the EU? Our results suggest that policymakers need not worry in general about popular legitimacy when negotiating differentiations to facilitate accession or EU reform. However, they should ensure that differentiation is either voluntary or temporary (if it is involuntary as is often the case in accession treaties). Differentiated integration that allows member states to join an integrated policy when they are ready, but does not force them to do so, seems to enjoy broad support among EU citizens. The possibility of opt-outs even appears to partly reconcile Eurosceptic citizens with the EU and narrow the gap between Eurosceptic citizens, on the one hand, and integration-friendly citizens and elites, on the other.

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