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The Representation of Intra-EU Migrants at the Member-State Level: Do Voting Rights Matter?

Olsson, Anna. (2007) The Representation of Intra-EU Migrants at the Member-State Level: Do Voting Rights Matter? In: UNSPECIFIED, Montreal, Canada. (Unpublished)

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    Abstract

    Since the introduction of the EU citizenship in 1992 the freedom of movement and residence within the Union has lead to an ever increasing number of individuals residing in another EU member-state than their own. These intra-EU migrants have increasingly been granted the same rights as the citizens of their country of residence, with one conspicuous exception: voting rights in national elections. It seems paradox, however, that those EU-citizens who embody the idea of European citizenship the most – those who migrate to reside in another EU member-state – are granted democratic representation through the right to vote at the municipal and European levels, but not at the national level in their country of residence. This paper investigates how the absence of voting rights for intra-EU migrants affects their sense of democratic representation. More specifically, this paper seeks to determine whether intra-EU migrants differ from citizens in their satisfaction with democracy in their country of residence and in the EU, estimating two ordinal logit models using data collected through 11 Eurobarometer surveys ranging from 1997 to 2004. The results indicate that intra-EU migrants are more likely to be satisfied with democracy than citizens, both in their country of residence and in the EU, thus suggesting that direct representation through the participation in national elections may not be as important as suggested in previous research. However, the finding that a greater ideological distance to the median citizen in the country of residence is associated with a lesser satisfaction with democracy suggests that virtual representation, in the more general sense, takes the place of the narrower notion of institutionalized representation, at least in the mind of the masses. These findings help shed some light on the puzzle of representation within the context of European integration, and the fact that contrary to public opinion, European elites argue for institutionalized representation, shows that the duality of and tension between virtual and actual representation, as suggested by Hanna Pitkin, very much exists in the EU today.

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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: National elections; voting in national elections.
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJC > free movement/border control
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > Third Pillar/JHA/PJC > European citizenship
    EU policies and themes > Policies & related activities > political affairs > European elections/voting behavior
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Conference: European Union Studies Association (EUSA) > Biennial Conference > 2007 (10th), May 17-19, 2007
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2008
    Page Range: p. 32
    Last Modified: 15 Feb 2011 17:51
    URI: http://aei.pitt.edu/id/eprint/7989

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