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(p. 352) 25. Public Opinion and the European Union 

(p. 352) 25. Public Opinion and the European Union
(p. 352) 25. Public Opinion and the European Union

Simona Guerra

and Lauren M. McLaren

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date: 19 April 2021

This chapter examines trends in public opinion toward the European Union. Through the mid-1980s, EU member governments and bureaucrats were interested in limited public involvement in the integration process. With the introduction of the Single European Act and later the Constitutional Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty, member states began selling their varying visions of a renewed European project that would contribute to the further economic and political development of the EU integration process. The chapter first considers general perceptions of the EU before assessing the key factors that are believed to account for differences in mass opinion regarding the EU. These include rational utilitarianism, perceptions of the national government, political psychology factors such as cognitive mobilization and concerns about the loss of national identity, and the role of mass media in shaping attitudes towards the EU. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the level of trust towards EU institutions.

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