Why European Citizens Will Reject the EU Constitution

Claes H. de Vreese
Content Type
Working Paper
Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
This study tests competing hypotheses about popular support for European integration. It introduces anti-immigration sentiments as a key variable for understanding reluctance towards integration. Drawing on survey data, it is found that anti-immigration sentiments, economic considerations, and the evaluation of domestic governments are the strongest predictors of both support for integration and individuals' propensity to vote “Yes” in a referendum on the enlargement of the EU. When extrapolating the findings to future referendums on issues of European integration, it may be predicted that such referendums will result in a “No” outcome under the conditions of high levels of anti-immigration sentiments, pessimistic economic outlooks, and/or unpopularity of a government.
International Relations, Economics, Government, Politics
Political Geography