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Public OpinionWhy does public opinion matter?European Union (EU) citizens’ preferences: further integration and the lines of political conflict in the EU policy-making. Sovereign countries are going to have their own identities. Overview: theories on how we get this public opinion • Cleavage model: national-territorial (zero-sum game? Some countries benefit more than others) and transnational-socioeconomic interest. A lot of social classes have more in common with people in the same working environment that with people in their state. The EU will serve more as the market integrates. The social interest across countries is going to shape your preferences.• Permissive consensus – people do not have a strong opinion about European integration and support so they will allow the leaders to take decisions without citizens being involved. The entire people have a consensus that this is our goal so they don’t really care about the international politics. With the formation of the European community, the citizens of Europe neglected the process of their country and the EU. Eurobarometer – survey that is distributed every six months that asks about the public support for European integration and economic growth. (Maastricht treaty 1993 affected the GDP growth in EU; it established the EU). Citizens realized that EU is not just about economics but about policies and politics too. The direction the EU takes will affect the citizens directly. • Opposition to the EU after the Maastricht TreatyNational divisions 1. Length of membership – whether or not original members are going to be more supportive than the newer ones2. National identity – whether the more you are going to identify with your country and supporting the EU. Is not statistically significant. 3. Economic gains – did you country economically benefit in EU. These explain better the support for the EU. Whether the money you send to the EU and receive ratio is low. Lower means more $$. 4. Information deficit – (only a 5% drop from mid 90’s to 2003 in countries with strong debates – Ireland, Austria, Denmark and Sweden; the drop was lower in these countries because in these countries people knew from the very beginning what they were getting into, Irish people had better knowledge of what treaties entailed because of the referendums that had to be approved by the people. This does not mean that these countries have a high level of approval it just means that the level of approval changed slightly).5. Parties and governments’ popularity and their position on EU integration – a positive relationship between the trust you have in your government (at the national government) and the trust you have at the EU level. The mentality seems to be whether you trust politics or not. Transnational conflicts1. Class interest:a) More supportive classes: employers, directors, professionals – will have a bigger pool to choose fromb) Less supportive: skilled worker, retired, unemployed – stiffer competition from outside- Transnational social class positions 2. Class voting replaced by postmaterialist values: environment, women’s and minorities’ rights, age vs. generational difference, education, religion (atheism (will be less supportive) and agnostics). The EU has done a lot to promote equality for women. Education has the highest support across countries in the EU.Right and left ideology:1. Right: equality of opportunity2. Left: equality of outcomes- Center more pro EU then the left and right and it can vary country by country The Elite’s DilemmaSupport for the EU: Elites vs. Masses (94% vs. 48%)-abandon consensus politics: differences between the national elitesSingle Market and Regulatory Policy Three types of economic policies:I) Regulatory policies standardsRedistribution vs. Efficiency (Pg. 190 graph)Redistribution: the government will make a policy where money is taken from a section and redistributed to another section (i.e. tax) (More popular choice) Efficiency: Your economic policy will not hurt individuals (i.e. invest in research or infrastructure that benefits all)Regulatory policies: are usually concerned with the protection of “public interest.” This is the perfection of public interest in general without being biased towards any section and they are meant to be used only to correct failures:A) Technical standards and consumer protection standardsB) Health and safety standard and environmental standards (negative externalities)C) Competition policies (Price collusion)D) Industry regulators (Price controls): Demographic governments, executive, and parliament. (Most often they are involved in redistribution policies therefore changes would vary according to parties)Market Failures: When the free market does not work.Market Failure examples: Health, safety standards, environment, ect. Example: A company hurts the environment by contaminating the water to cool engines and then throwing it back in the environment which hurts the public health.Democratic parliaments and governments tend to favor policies that redistribute resources-The need for independent institutions- Let independent institutions that are not biased (i.e. Federal Reserve institutions who will not be influenced by lobbyists)The normative approach (Independent Institutions worst option) vs. Economic theory of regulations (Free market reign) (demands and supply)Normative: Governments control over redistribution Positive: using independent institutions to control redistributionNormative and Positive solution: There should be a balance between normative and positive. Economic Theory of Regulation: People are going to want to control business agencies that have concentrated interest in policies. (Independent institutions will solves this issue)The need for institutional control (list of criteria, reports, replace the head of the agency, ect.)II) Expenditure PoliciesIII) Macroeconomics PolicyDeregulation Policies: Removal of legislation concerning trade or economic activities. (Most successful because of formation of Single Market of the 27 member states)The Single Market (1985) Single European Act – Completing the internal market by 31 December 1992-Removal of physical barrier (Goods and persons this means no customs, border patrols, halts, ect.)-Technical barriers (cassis de Dijon ruling i.e. French Wine sales in Germany)-Movement of capital: free flow of capital-fiscal barriers: proposed harmonization of the valued add tax (VAT

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FSU CPO 3101 - Public Opinion

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