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Who Is in Favour of Enlargement? Determinants of Support for EU Membership in the Candidate Countries' Referenda

Orla Doyle and Jan Fidrmuc


This paper investigates both the macro and micro determinants of EU support as expressed in the 2003 referenda on EU membership and the 2002 Candidate Countries Eurobarometer survey data. It is found that favourable individual and regional characteristics, i.e., the “winners” of the transition process, are positively correlated with support for accession and voter participation. In contrast, those who should benefit from future EU transfers, i.e., the “losers” of the process, are less likely to vote and/or support EU membership. It is therefore argued that voters in the new member states assign greater weight on future benefits from liberalization and integration than on potential gains through redistribution.

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).