Germany and the Eastern enlargement of the EU

political elites, public opinion and democratic processes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


In Germany, European integration has largely been an elite enterprise. Despite the disagreement of a popular majority, Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) was pursued to its culmination in the introduction of the Euro. Eastward enlargement of the European Union has also witnessed a virtual exclusion of the public, whose opposition to the venture consistently outweighs support. Public engagement with this has occurred through indirect means like opinion polls or journalistic reportage. The issue has, however, stimulated reaction from the political parties, which portray themselves as 'European' while simultaneously seeking domestic political advantage from related concerns within the national polity. For the governing SPD-Alliance 90/Greens coalition, a tension between their advocacy of more direct democracy and the quarantined foreign policy imperative of enlargement is apparent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-38
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of European integration
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

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