A Tool to Turn the Trends? : A  study of popular Euroscepticism in relation to structural aid from the EU

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för statsvetenskap (ST)

Abstract: This thesis examines the impact structural aid from the EU has on popular Euroscepticism – a set of critical public opinions that has been on the rise during the last decades. The study is done by operationalising both instrumental and political Euroscepticism. Through a statistical method with regression analyses, structural aid is tested as an independent variable explaining Euroscepticism using data from the European Social Survey. Other factors on individual level, values/culture and socioeconomic conditions are added to the analyses together with contextual factors on country level. The results show that structural aid in less developed regions manage to mitigate Euroscepticism, especially in Western Europe. This suggests that the EU has a tool to shape the public opinions while it addresses regional disparities, and that popular Euroscepticism is shaped both by economic mechanisms and individual values/cultural factors.

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