This paper aims to establish a baseline for how citizens evaluate the EU nearly a decade into the economic and transnational migration crisis. We will use a newly assembled Eurobarometer representation file (1993-2014) to examine whether mass publics have changed the basis upon which they evaluate the EU’s performance. The primary question at hand is whether the current crisis is viewed by citizens mainly through the lens of economic issues, as much prior research would lead us to expect (Anderson 1998; Eichenberg and Dalton 2003) or whether the flares in nationalist cross-border skirmishes between, say German and Greek politicians, reflect a deeper nationalism that resonates with European publics when they evaluate the EU. Analyses of several Eurobarometer surveys offer support for the expectation that the influence of utilitarian considerations and, to an even greater extent, nationalism has increased since the start of the sovereign debt crisis.
Paper prepared for presentation at the 74th Annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference, April 7-10, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.