chapter
17 Pages

Conclusions

Still a Europe of elites
ByJosé Real-Dato, Borbála Göncz, Nicolò Conti

The chapter is a summary on the main tendencies identified in the previous chapters as for the evolution of national political elites’ attitudes towards the EU in the period of 2007–2014. Considering the highly conflictual debates about crisis-management and the role of European institutions in this process, one could expect an overall decline in positive attitudes. This expectation was, however, only partly confirmed. Furthermore, it was dependent on the specific aspect of the attitudes investigated. Indeed, in the volume several dimensions of Europeanness were addressed, including both emotional and cognitive aspects of attitudes and, besides general measures, specific policy aspects were also dealt with. As for the main drivers of attitudes the following mechanisms were identified: (1) attachment to the EU proves to be a main motivation behind the enduring pro-Europeanism at elite-level; (2) the role of economic calculation is overall limited and certainly thinner than one would have expected given the critical scenario of our days; (3) despite widespread disaffection towards the EU among the national publics, national elites only partially represent citizens’ distancing from the EU while, in real fact, they have become more detached from the mass public.