Greece in the European Union

By Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos; Argyris G. Passas | Go to book overview

8

From accession to the euro

The evolution of Greek public attitudes toward European integration, 1981-2001
Yiannis E. Mavris
Introduction
Despite its increasing importance, the study of social support for European integration remains relatively under-researched, at least in comparison to the study of EU institutions and policies (Inglehart 1977; Deheneffe 1986; Handley 1991; Eichenberg and Dalton 1993; Bosch and Newton 1995; Duchesne and Frognier 1995; Martinotti and Stefanizzi 1995; Niedermayer 1995a; Wessels 1995a, 1995b; Anderson and Kalthenthaler 1996; Anderson and Reichert 1996; Deflem and Pampel 1996; Beyers 1998; Carey 1999; Ray 1999; Carey and Lebo 2000). Greek public attitudes vis-à-vis the process of integration are even less researched (but see Dimitras 1992; Dobratz 1993; Mavris 1993, 1994), despite significant fluctuations and radical changes in the twenty-year period which started with the country’s accession to the EC (1981) and ended with its adoption of the euro in 2001. Judging on the basis of social support, Greece was in the early 1980s among the least pro-EC Member States, although the intensity of this phenomenon did not approach the levels of anti-European feeling in either the United Kingdom or Denmark. However, since 1986, when the ruling party’s (PASOK) attitude changed radically, social support for European integration followed suit. Greece gradually became one of the most pro-European Member States although it is conventionally assumed that 1989 was the turning point for that year marked the end of PASOK’s first eight years in power.
Periodisation
Eurobarometer (EB) surveys, which are conducted by the European Commission twice a year, rely on three key indicators for the analysis of the long-term patterns of social support for the EC/EU:
attitudes towards each country’s participation (‘membership’ indicator), the most widely known measure of support for the EU;

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