Leuffen, Dirk

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Differentiated Integration - One or Many? : Public Support for the Varieties of Differentiated Integration

2021, Leuffen, Dirk, de Blok, Lisanne, Schüssler, Julian, Heermann, Max, De Vries, Catherine E.

Using newly collected and so-far unpublished public opinion data on differentiated integration (DI), the research paper analyses the dimensionality of this concept, which has become increasingly prominent in the study of European integration. Factor analyses show that citizens care about two dimensions of differentiation. The first is linked to integration, the second to safeguarding national autonomy or sovereignty. Moreover, to validate previous findings on the Eurobarometer’s ‘two-speed Europe’ item, we run regression analyses on public support for different types or models of DI. Our analyses underline that citizens evaluate different types of DI differently – thus none of the classic models (e.g. ‘two-speed’, ‘core Europe’, or ‘à-la-carte’) allow for generalisation. As a practical implication, our study highlights that citizens’ support of DI strongly hinges on a fair design of DI.