TRANSNATIONAL SOLIDARITY AND PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR THE EU ENLARGEMENT
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What makes people support the European Union project has been a topic of constant research in the social sciences during the last decades. The key explanations of attitudes towards EU integration and enlargement processes are mainly related to identity issues, trust in political institutions, post-materialism, cognitive mobilization and utilitarianism. This paper revisits these explanations and adds a new ingredient to the debate, namely the role of solidarity in confining sceptical attitudes towards enlargement. We hypothesize that a deficit of transnational solidarity at the level of citizens is related to an attitude of reluctance about further EU enlargement. For this purpose, we employ a multilevel approach on individual-level data from the European Values Study 2008 – 2009 and contextual data for 42 countries. Our findings support the idea of a significant, positive relation between transnational solidarity and pro-enlargement attitudes.
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