We present a model of citizen support for EU membership designed explicitly for post-communist countries. We posit that membership in the EU can function as an implicit guarantee that the economic reforms undertaken since the end of communism will not be reversed. On this basis, we predict that "winners" who have benefited from the transition are more likely to support EU membership for their country than "losers" who have been hurt by the transition. We also predict that supporters of the free market will be more likely to support EU membership than those who oppose the free market. We test these propositions using survey data from ten post-communist countries that have applied for membership in the EU and find strong support for our hypotheses. The article concludes by speculating about the role attitudes towards EU membership may play in the development of partisan preferences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations