Conclusion: European Publics and the Legitimacy of Internationalized Governance
This chapter presents a balance sheet regarding the assessments of public support for internationalized governance presented in the preceding chapters. On the credit side, there is widespread and high‐level support for European Community integration, some evidence for the emergence of a sense of European identity, and some signs of willingness to transfer responsibilities in certain policy areas to the supranational level. On the debit side, there is evidence that support for EC integration has been declining since 1991, and that concern over a perceived ‘democratic deficit’ has been growing. Moreover, the assessment of public attitudes towards EC integration cannot be aggregated into a simple quotient, but needs to take account of the wide variations within the spectrum of public opinion within member countries, between various policy areas, and between publics of different countries.
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