THE EUENGAGE PROJECT

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.

WORK PACKAGES

EUENGAGE will span over 36 months distributed over 11 work packages. The figure below shows the main project components and their synergies within an interactive, dynamic, multilevel research design.

The main research components and their interconnectedness

EUENGAGE project work packages
 WP1 provides a comprehensive understanding of the attitudes of European political elites toward the multifaceted dimensions of Europeanism, with a specific focus on their degree of involvement in the debate about EU institutions and their expectations about the future EU scenario. Read more

WP2 provides an analysis of national and European leaders’ speeches through a map of expressed opinion and through explanation of why leaders adjust their speeches, in order to understand how democratic representation functions in a multi-layered institutional context. Read more

WP3 identifies the problem emphases and issue positions of political parties —the supply side of electoral politics—as well as their political vision for the future of EU public policy, at the time of the European Parliament elections in 2014, based on the analysis of Euromanifestos. Read more

WP4 provides comparative data on the positioning and salience of European integration and policy issues for national political parties based on expert surveys. Read more

WP 5 develops new methods for measuring popular opinion on Europe and European integration through systematic, quantitative analysis of social media texts and networks, especially the micro-blogging service Twitter. Read more

WP6 develops a multi-wave and multi-country panel survey set up to study political representation and decision-making problems in Europe exploring elite-public opinion interactions. Read more

WP7 provides a systematic mass media content analysis and insight into how the press in different national contexts prioritises and frames different EU topics and how this can shape the attitude towards the EU decision-makers or policies involved in the national public spheres. Read more

WP8 creates an innovative deliberative e-democracy forum to study the micro-foundational mechanisms of representation, the effects of information and deliberation on individual preferences, and the interaction dynamics between citizens and politicians in a quasi-experimental environment, with respect to problems of crisis solution and political accountability in Europe.Read more

WP9 consists of processes of data collection of the multi-wave and multi-country panel surveys targeting the General Public and the Elites, as well as the Active Web Public. Read more

WP10 promotes external awareness about the project through communication of the project results.Read more

WP 11 has to do with project coordination.

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