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ECPR Standing Group on the European Union 10th Biennial Conference LUISS, Rome

Support for and Opposition to the Fiscal Union: Does Knowledge Matter?

Comparative Politics
European Politics
European Union
Political Economy
Domestic Politics
Political Ideology
Klaus Armingeon
University of Zurich
Klaus Armingeon
University of Zurich

The Eurozone depends critically on some form of a fiscal union, as long as a dissolution of the Euro is not feasible and the convergence toward an optimal currency union of Eurozone countries does not happen. Currently no politico-institutional opportunities exist to create a democratically legitimated fiscal union. An acceptance of a formally non-legitimized fiscal union or the absence of a mobilized political opposition on the national level is key to the survival of the Eurozone. We know that orientations towards the fiscal union differ by country and within countries by ideology, values, party attachment or social class. However, it is far from clear how citizens build up their orientations: Do they weigh in arguments for and against the fiscal union or do they follow blindly party cues, extrapolate from national experiences or is their opposition and support to the fiscal union simply an expression of ideologies and values, such as a European ideology or the lack thereof? Any argument-based orientation towards the fiscal union requires some basic politico-institutional knowledge of national and supranational politics. In this paper I ask whether basic political knowledge of the national and European political system make a difference for the orientation towards the Euro, between nations but also between social classes, groups with different ideologies or party attachments. The analysis is based on the European Election Study of 2014.
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