BRUSSELS, June 22 (Reuters) - After years of ambivalence about new members, European Union policymakers are hoping Croatia's accession to the 27-nation bloc will persuade other aspirants that democratic reforms reap dividends.
The ambition is that Croatia's progress will show the western Balkans that the EU is still willing to grow and quell concerns that "enlargement fatigue" -- rife since the global economic crisis made Europeans wary about the cost of expansion -- means reform efforts are futile.
But Zagreb may now be days away from completing its entry talks and EU leaders are set to give a go-ahead to its accession at a summit on Thursday and Friday.
EU officials say the leap was made possible by an intense reform push that proved the country of 4.4 million people was serious about fighting widespread corruption.
Mapping EU attitudes: Conceptual and empirical dimensions of Euroscepticism and EU support
- Andreas R. T. Schuck
- Matthijs Elenbaas
- Claes H. de Vreese
Public attitudes towards the European Union (EU) are at the heart of a growing body of research. The nature, structure and antecedents of these attitudes, however, are in need of conceptual and empirical refinement. With growing diversification of the policies of the Union, a one-dimensional approach to attitudes towards the EU may be insufficient. This study reviews existing approaches towards theorizing EU public opinion. Based on this inventory, originally collected public opinion survey data (n = 1394) indicate the presence of five dimensions of EU attitudes: performance, identity, affection, utilitarianism and strengthening. The study furthermore shows that different predictors of EU public opinion matter to differing extents when explaining these dimensions. In light of these findings, we suggest tightening the link, conceptually and empirically, between attitudinal dimensions and their antecedents.