The book explores the views of elites alongside those of the wider population in the European Union. The chapters place the new member states – and the potential candidate Serbia – on the map of Europe in this context for the first time. The volume's comparative method goes beyond the standard old member states versus new member states divide. It assesses regional differences within Central Europe and evaluates the problem of European and national identity formation, perception of external threats to the EU (including Russia), differences between economic and political elite views about the integration process and the connection between national performance and public opinion about Europe. Even though, in each country, positive views are dominant about the integration process, heterogeneous views prevail behind the image of a unifying Europe.
The book’s major contribution is that it makes the new member states more visible and provides hard evidence while remaining theoretically driven. Furthermore, it covers the most important topics that emerge in studies concerning European integration. The book is intended for those interested in European integration in general but Central and Eastern European comparativists will find it particularly useful.
This book was published as a special issue of Europe-Asia Studies.
1. Introduction: A Europe Integrated and United—But Still Diverse? 2. History Matters: Dimensions and Determinants of National Identities among European Populations and Elites3. Identity and Representation in the Perceptions of Political Elites and Public Opinion: A Comparison between Southern and Post-Communist Central-Eastern Europe 4. Threat Perception and European Identity Building: The Case of Elites in Belgium, Germany, Lithuania and Poland 5. The Nation State and the EU in the Perceptions of Political and Economic Elites: the Case of Serbia in Comparative Perspective6. Explaining the Attitudes of Parliamentarians towards European Integration in Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia: Party Affiliation, ‘Left–right’ Self-placement or Country Origin? 7. Identity Formation of Elites in Old and New Member States (With a Special Focus on the Czech Elite) 8. Elites’ Pragmatic and Symbolic Views about European Integration 9. National Discontent and EU support in Central and Eastern Europe