How Europeans See Europe: Structure and Dynamics of European Legitimacy Beliefs

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How do Europeans see Europe? What principles guide people's approval or rejection of EU projects? Are they 'Europeans by heart' or 'nice-weather Europeans'? How do citizens perceive the shift from economic integration to political unification? What are chances and risks of EU legitimacy? Angelika Scheuer gives empirical answers in her study of European legitimacy based on the European Elections Study of 1994. She demonstrates that publics of the EU-12 display a similar,well-structured European belief system. This enables comparative measurement and makes the EU a laboratory for hypothesis testing. The modelling of legitimacy processes discovers cross-country differences in the evolution of European legitimacy. Distinct legitimation styles exist among European publics and call for perceptive attention in future EU proposals and campaigns.