Over the last two decades, the process of European integration has become interwoven with the theme of citizenship and the debate on the democratic quality of the EU and of its institutions has become more salient. What are the views about Europe which emerge when we interrogate the national elites of the four large South European countries, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and what is their vision of a supra-national citizenship in its different facets? Are these views sufficiently homogeneous and do they distinguish themselves from those of the rest of the European Union to the point of enabling us to talk about a "distinctive region of Europe"? Which interpretation(s) of European citizenship emerges from a systematic exploration of these opinions?
Using a set of survey and textual data collected in the framework of the IntUne project, the authors attempt to provide some original answers to these questions.
This book was published as a special issue of South European Society and Politics.
Nicolo Conti is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome and Research Fellow at the University of Siena. His main research focus is on parties and the EU.
Maurizio Cotta is Professor of Political Science at the University of Siena. His main research interests are in the field of political elites and political institutions in Europe. He is the coordinator of the EU integrated project IntUne.
Pedro Tavares de Almeida is Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. His main research interests are elite recruitment, elections and state-civil society relations.