The Economic Determinants of Party Support for European Integration

Esteve-Gonzalez, Patricia and Theilen, Bernd (2018) The Economic Determinants of Party Support for European Integration. Acta Politica, 53 (3). pp. 348-366. ISSN 0001-6810

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Parties and their elites play an important role in shaping public opinion towards European integration. As determinants of party support for European integration the literature has identified ideological and strategic electoral motives. In this article we examine the impact of economic factors on party support for European integration. We find that party support from right-wing parties is larger in countries with greater financial benefits from the EU budget. On the contrary, benefits from trade creation by the introduction of the euro as a common currency shows no significant influence on party support. In the period after the introduction of the euro we find that right-wing parties where much more Eurosceptical than left-wing parties when their country did not fulfill the Maastricht debt or deficit criteria. We also observe more support for European integration by left-wing parties in countries that would benefit from welfare state convergence due to European integration. While our analysis indicates that different economic factors always have been important to explain party support for European integration, we also find that, in the period after the financial crisis in 2008, these motives have gained importance at the expense of the ideological motives.

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Journal Article
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Acta Politica
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26 Jul 2017 08:00
Last Modified:
15 Sep 2023 04:20