Between September and November 2016 the REScEU project conducted a cross-country public opinion survey in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The main purpose of the REScEU Mass Survey is to observe EU citizens’ positioning on four lines of conflict around which the politics of social Europe is mostly structured. These lines of tension deal with the ultimate EU mission, the principle of interstate solidarity in the EU, the free movement within the EU and the divide between integration and autonomy.
Furthermore, the REScEU Mass Survey investigates the respondents’ propensity to voice their aversion towards certain EU political decisions and their opinion on the role of the EU during the crisis as well as its future. Considering the outcome of the “Brexit” referendum of 23 June 2016, the questionnaire administered to British respondents mainly focused on their attitudes towards the referendum and potential post-Brexit scenarios.
Read the main findings on the REScEU mass survey in the attached document
M. Ferrera, In Biblioteca della Libertà. 214, settembre-dicembre 2015
The intra-EU mobility of workers/persons is becoming an increasingly contentious and polarizing issue and is occupying the center stage in the so-called Brexit debate. Challenging the principle of free movement is no trivial matter. What is actually put in question are not only the foundational pillars of the single market, but of the EU as such, understood as a single (would-be) polity. The aim of this paper is to offer an analytical framing of this challenge. Section 1 provides a brief historical reconstruction of welfare state building at the national level, highlighting the salience of boundaries and of the “bounding-bonding” nexus. It also discusses the impact of European integration on the intra-EU boundary configuration in the sphere of solidarity. Section 2 illustrates the state of play as regards mobility, summarizing the findings of empirical research on the economic and financial implications of free movement and of the social security coordination regime. Section 3 argues that – in addition to economic efficiency – the principle/logic that underpins free movement is that of “hospitality”, rather than the more general principle of solidarity. The section then discusses some unintended practical implications that follow from the logic of hospitality and that lie at the basis of the increasing contentiousness around free movement. Section 4 discusses possible institutional remedies for containing political contention. The underlying assumption is that the preservation of free movement is key for the survival of the EU qua political association/community and that such preservation must be the object of an essentially political (and not merely functional) strategy on the side of EU authorities. The conclusion wraps up.
The paper is available here.
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