Does religion matter? Christianity and public support for the European Union

Author (Person)
Series Title
Series Details Vol.2, No.2, June 2001, p191-217
Publication Date June 2001
Content Type


This paper considers the relationship between Europeans' religious characteristics and support for the European Union. Using Eurobarometer data from the 1970s through the 1990s, the authors find that Catholics have been far stronger supporters of European integration than Protestants have, and that the devout in both traditions have been more in favor of the integration process than have nominal adherents. The effects of religion survive both longitudinal and intensive cross-sectional analyses incorporating alternative explanations for support of the EU. These findings suggest that, if religion is declining as a social and political force, underlying support for European unity may also be dwindling. Public approval of the European Union may thus depend increasingly on the economic performance of national governments and of the Union itself.

Source Link
Subject Categories