Centre for European and International Studies Research

A Process of (Dis)integration?

Portsmouth, 10-11 September 2015

A process of (dis)integration?: Citizens’ attitudes towards, and participation in, national and EUropean politics

The European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Standing Group on Citizenship and the Centre for European & International Studies Research (CEISR) held a workshop exploring citizens’ attitudes towards, and participation in, national and EUropean politics, at the University of Portsmouth 10-11 September, 2015. 

It is widely recognised that European integration has not led to the sense of ‘EUrophoria’ that many of the founding fathers anticipated. To the contrary, we now see a process of (dis)integration and increased support for regional autonomy. These developments do not only question the legitimacy of the EUropean project but, quite often, the legitimacy of (more established) nation-states. Against this backdrop, policy-makers, academics and practitioners seem to disagree about what citizens’ diverging attitudes and (lack of) participation really signal for the future of nation-states and that of ‘EUrope’, and how we should respond to these developments.

While some maintain that the majority of citizens support further EUropean integration, others draw attention to the rise in the popularity of Eurosceptic and regional parties across and within national borders. Again others underline there is very little, if any, evidence that in their everyday lives citizens care about what politicians in Brussels or even in their capital actually do. In response to a (supposed) growing disillusionment with national and EUropean politics, some policy-makers have gone as far as to offer their supporters an opportunity to vote for an exit from ‘EUrope’ and even from their (current) territorial boundaries - most notably in the United Kingdom. In sharp contrast, a growing number of academics and practitioners are now involved with civil society organisations and groups, which aim to reach out to different segments of EUropean citizens directly, including migrants, students and workers amongst others, in order to raise their awareness about significance of contemporary national and EUropean politics. These developments underline that it is more important than ever to address the issue of citizens’ attitudes towards, and participation in, national and EUropean politics.

Papers

This workshop offered an opportunity for academics, practitioners, and policy-makers to discuss and debate issues arising from questions about citizens’ attitudes towards, and participation in, national and EUropean politics, whilst reflecting on current processes of EUropean (dis)integration.

A programme is available here: A process of (dis)integration? Programme 2015

Further information

For further information please contact Nora Siklodi (nora.siklodi@port.ac.uk).