Europeans and the European Community: the dynamics of public support for European integration
Europeans evaluate the European Community (EC) according to its economic performance, political salience, and role in international relations. During the last two decades their measured attitudes toward European integration warmed especially when inflation rates fell, as the EC share of the country's trade expanded, when EC elections and referenda increased attention to the community, and to some extend during periods when East-West relations were relaxed. Europeans did not vary their support according to their countries' shares of the Brussels budget. Thus, notwithstanding Denmark's 1992 rejection of the Maastricht treaty and the end of the cold war, recent EC reforms that increase monetary stability, intra-European trade and political attention are all likely to maintain or increase citizen support for the EC. These findings result from a model that blends comparative political economy with international relations in one of the first applications of pooled cross-sectional and time-series analysis to the comparative study of public opinion.