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“The Economy, Accountability, and Support for the President of the European Commission”

Gelleny, Ronald D. and Anderson, Christopher J. (1999) “The Economy, Accountability, and Support for the President of the European Commission”. In: UNSPECIFIED, Pittsburgh, PA. (Unpublished)

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    This paper seeks to contribute to [the] literature in two ways. First, we examine the effects of utilitarian considerations on public opinion in an area that previously has not been examined by researchers: support for the President of the European Commission. Specifically, we question whether citizens should have such utilitarian considerations in the first place, especially when they are ill-informed about the Commission and its president, and when the President and the Commission cannot be held democratically accountable. Using data on the popularity of Commission President Jaques Delors during his last year in office (1994) collected in the (then) 12 member states of the EU, we find that Europeans are simultaneously utilitarian and ill-informed when it comes to judging the performance of the President of the Commission. While we find that roughly half of all Europeans do not express an opinion on the performance of the Commission President, our analysis also shows that utilitarian considerations powerfully affect whether Europeans approve of the job the President of the Commission has done. The next section reviews the literature on economic and utilitarian effects on public support for European integration and institutions. We argue that there are two ways to view people’s attitudes toward the President of the Commission-utilitarian and uninformed-and that these may affect the formation of attitudes toward the President of the Commission in different ways. We then describe the data and discuss people’s perceptions of the President of the Commission. Next, we develop a model of public support for the President that we estimate with the help of a series of multinomial logistic regressions. We conclude by discussing the results and suggesting avenues for future research.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Other > researching and writing the EU (see also integration theory in this section)
    EU policies and themes > EU institutions & developments > European Commission
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > public opinion
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 1999 (6th), June 2-5, 1999
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2006
    Page Range: p. 53
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:22

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