The Legitimacy of the European Union After Enlargement

Hardcover | June 28, 2009

EditorJacques Thomassen

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In 2004 the European Union was enlarged with ten new member states, eight of them previously communist states in Central and Eastern Europe. This enlargement was without precedent in the history of the Union and its predecessors. It is still to be seen how well the institutions as well as thecitizens of the Union are able to cope with the consequences of this operation.The authors of this volume evaluate the effect of that enlargement on its legitimacy. They do so by assessing the effects of enlargement on the functioning of the process of political representation in the European Union and on the feelings of the European people towards the Union. This study ismainly based on data from the European Election Study 2004. This study made it for the first time possible to compare the attitudes and behaviour of citizens in the enlargement countries, in particular in Central and Eastern Europe, with their counterparts in the older member states. Some of the findings of this study are counterintuitive. In many respects the effects of enlargements are much smaller than often argued. The party systems of the new member states and the attitudes and behaviour of the voters of individual parties are very compatible with their counterparts in theolder member states, making further European integration relatively easy. The same can be said about members of the European Parliament. On the other hand the mutual trust of the people in the older and new member states is extremely low and undermines the legitimacy of the enlarged Union.

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In 2004 the European Union was enlarged with ten new member states, eight of them previously communist states in Central and Eastern Europe. This enlargement was without precedent in the history of the Union and its predecessors. It is still to be seen how well the institutions as well as thecitizens of the Union are able to cope with ...

Professor Jacques Thomassen is distinguished professor of political science at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He published widely on the political representation, political behaviour and European Union politics. He was a visiting professor at the univer...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pagesPublished:June 28, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199548994

ISBN - 13:9780199548996

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Table of Contents

List of FiguresList of TablesContributors1. Jacques Thomassen: The Legitimacy of the European Union After EnlargementPart I: Political representation in the European Union2. Hermann Schmitt and Jacques Thomassen: The European Party System After Enlargement3. Claes de Vreese, Hajo Boomgaarden, Susan Banducci and Holli Semetko: Light at the End of the Tunnel: Towards a European Public Sphere?4. Wouter van der Brug, Mark Franklin, Marina Popescu and Gabor Toka: Towards a European Electorate. One Electorate or Many?5. Erik Voeten: Enlargement and the 'Normal' European ParliamentPart II: Political support for the European Union6. Lieven de Winter, Marc Swyngedouw and Bart Goeminne: The Level of Decision Making: the Preferences of the Citizens After Enlargement7. Slava Mikhaylov and Michael Marsh: Policy Performance and Support for European Integration8. Bernhard Wessels: Trust in Political Institutions9. Jacques Thomassen and Hanna Back: European Citizenship and Identity After Enlargement10. Cees van der Eijk and Hermann Schmitt: Legitimacy and Electoral Abstention in European Parliament Elections11. Jacques Thomassen: In conclusion: the legitimacy of the European Union After EnlargementReferences