Sociologie Românească (Romanian Sociology), Vol. IX, no. 1/2011.
Spinning the European Wheel: Benefits, Welfare, and Identity Layers in the Old and New Member States
Sergiu Gherghina* și Mihail Chiru**
Vol IX, no. 1, 2011, pp. 64-79
*Author adress: Department of Political Science, Leiden University, Office 5A51, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK, Leiden, The Netherlands.
**Author adress: Department of Political Science, Central European University, 1051 Budapest, Nador u 9, Hungary.
Abstract: The main question addressed by this study is whether citizens from the new Member States are more likely to perceive themselves as Europeans than their counterparts in Western Europe. We employ Standard Eurobarometer survey data from 2009 to test how identity is shaped by trust in political institutions, perceptions about national economies (both current and prospective), benefits of membership, satisfaction with the direction in which the country and the EU go, and individual socio-demographic factors (gender, age, and education). Our results show that national identity continues to be prominent, and especially so in the EU15. Second, the examined determinants act in the same direction for both the national and the European sense of belonging. However, their strength differs significantly, with less influence at national level. Finally, the explanatory factors did not perform differently in the two sets of countries.
Keywords: identity; economic evaluations; membership benefits; trust.
Cuvinte-cheie: identitate; evaluări economice; beneficiile aderării la UE; încredere.