Thiel, Markus (2007) Constraints on the Development of European Identity: Territorial and Demographic Challenges for EU Public Support. EUMA Papers, Vol. 4 No. 11 May 2007. [Policy Paper]
[From the introduction]. European integration has transformed in the past few years from an elitist process into an elite-driven mechanism with substantial public oversight and pressure by the citizen and the media, as examples such as the constitutional impasse have shown. The development of public support and identification with the EU is dependent upon a multitude of economic, political and social factors resulting in affective and utilitarian attitudesi which are contingent upon member states’ as well as overarching Union policies. In addition, there exist a number of related factors such as immigration, demographic changes and the enlargement process, that are consistently under-analyzed in the field of EU studies, yet potentially exert significant influence over public opinion and a common identification and hence, the integration process more generally. I will adhere to this conceptual distinction by using the term identification when referring to the gradual processes of civic identification with the EU resulting in affective support, as compared to the mainly utilitarian components of public support – both of which moved to the forefront in the post-Maastricht integration period.
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