Public Attitudes towards European Social Policy (according To ESS 8 Wave)


European integration, European social policy, all-European measures for social protection, mass attitudes

Social policy is often overlooked in public discourses over European integration despite that it is a significant instrument for raising its legitimacy. On the basis of systematic analysis of mass attitudes to European unification, measured in the 8th wave of European Social Survey (ESS), this paper shows that in the EC as a whole European tend to support the introduction of an all-European scheme for social assistance and to consider that more decisions taken on the supranational level will improve social security for all. At the level of the separate countries the citizens are divided in their preferences for a national or a supranational European social security system. On the individual level, the low-status groups are more inclined to support all-European social measures than the citizens at the higher ranks of the social hierarchy. The expansion of integration towards a more pro-active supranational social policy will secure the support precisely of the groups who today feel left behind in the European project.

JEL: H55, H59
Pages: 27
Price: 2 Points

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