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Public attitudes towards Social Europe: Diverging interpretations and support within and across EU member states?

Public attitudes towards Social Europe: Diverging interpretations and support within and across EU member states?

Objective

Political leaders of the European Union increasingly believe that a ‘Social Europe’ is indispensable for the continuation of the European project. Even though the course towards a more Social Europe is set, it remains unclear what the notion of Social Europe actually means, as it can refer to very different policy objectives and instruments. This is a problem since citizens’ support is crucial to democratic decision-making but is also unclear amidst opinions about specific interpretations of Social Europe. That problem is compounded by the lack of scholarly attention to how different citizen interpretations of Social Europe interact and vary across EU member states. This project aims to redress this major scholarly silence, by theoretically and empirically exploring citizens’ attitudes towards various interpretations of Social Europe. Specifically, it aims to unveil (1) to what extent European citizens are concerned about the protection of existing social rights and their further development, (2) to what extent Europeans support the development of EU-level policies to protect and enhance social rights (rather than only relying on domestic social policies in the member states to do so), (3) which combinations of policy measures, reflecting different underlying notions of ‘Social Europe’, are most supported by European publics, and (4) what dividing lines exist regarding these supportive attitudes within and across EU member states. To this end, the project relies on a unique combination of four different large-scale opinion surveys. The empirical results will deepen understanding of the stumbling blocks to consolidating and improving the welfare state and the European Union and identify pathways to strengthen the EU’s social dimension in a way that is supported by European publics. As such, the project clarifies the viability of Social Europe as a political project.
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM

Address

Spui 21
1012wx Amsterdam

Netherlands

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 187 572,48

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 840191

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 September 2019

  • End date

    31 August 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 187 572,48

  • EU contribution

    € 187 572,48

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITEIT VAN AMSTERDAM

Netherlands