Making or Breaking the Union? Migrant and Refugee Crisis and Political Identification in Europe

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
JWS - Room J15 (J375) (University of Glasgow)
Aleksandra Sojka , Centre for European Studies, Harvard University
This paper analyzes public opinion attitudes in the European Union (EU) during the so-called refugee and migrant crisis of 2015. The main question of the research is how changes in migration attitudes in this period could be linked to European identification. Analysis of cross-national survey data from the whole of the EU indicates that while national and supranational identification levels remain fairly stable, there have been important shifts in the external delimitation of the community. EU citizens show a stronger preference for migration from within the EU and hold a significantly less favorable view of non-EU migrants when compared to the previous year. However, this does not translate into a stronger preference for a common EU policy on migration which is now opposed to a greater extent. Multilevel regression analysis of the sources of these attitudes demonstrates that supranational identification in Europe is correlated with support for a common EU policy on migration and only weakly with preference of EU nationals over non-EU migrants. Moreover, there seems to be an effect of the presence of asylum-seekers in a country on both stronger preference for internal migration, as well as support for a common migration policy in the EU. Therefore, the paper argues that we might be witnessing the emergence of a new kind of identification which is substantially different from the envisaged European “constitutional patriotism.”
  • Sojka_2017_The limits of diversity in European unity.pdf (877.0 kB)