The goal of the EUENGAGE Project is to inquire into the current tensions between supranational EU governance and popular mobilisation at the national level critically questioning EU driven policies and EU legitimacy, and to propose remedial actions based on sound empirical research on the relationship between public opinion, national and supranational political elites.
The medium-long term evolutionary trend of the EU system of supranational governance had already shown in the past the manifestation of problems. It has become clear that the pace of integration proposed from the top and some side-effects of integration—austerity, transnational redistribution, economic insecurity, immigration—are difficult to accept for large parts of Europe’s citizens. This misalignment is obviously a crucial question for any system of governance which aims to be inspired by democratic principles.
The EUENGAGE project identifies in the conflicting messages emanating from the functioning of political representation a critical and urgent problem for the future of the EU.
In this perspective it proposes to set up an interactive, dynamic, multilevel and replicable quasi-experimental research design that, using a variety of instruments and techniques, will allow not only to study the process of representation in vivo, but also to experiment how innovative and efficient interactions between citizens and politicians can increase the awareness of citizens of the common problems of the Union, and the ability of the European leadership to respond innovatively to the discontent of public opinion.