The Centre for Empirical Social Research (CESR) participated in the “IntUne” (Integrated and United? A Quest for Citizenship in an Ever Closer Europe) FP 6 international research project between 2006 and 2009. The Enec project (European National Elites and the Crisis – ENEC) was conceived on the bases of this previous one and investigates attitudes toward European identity, scope of governance and representation among elites and the general public. Building on the previous research provided the opportunity to take into account the effect of the economic crisis when addressing changes in attitudes and to make comparisons between different member states of the EU (former and current participants of the research).
The global economic crisis affecting countries of the European Union since 2008 has had, and possibly would have important consequences for the process of European integration. In those countries more affected by the crisis, the EU provided assistance to cope with the situation. This assistance, however, has been conditional on the implementation of austerity measures by domestic authorities. These interventions may lead to public disapproval in these countries, citizens may feel that the EU institutions not only do not respond to their needs, but they are also governed by the dictates of political authorities and institutions over which they could exercise no control.
This research project provided the background knowledge to a better understanding and to the eventual redesign or maintenance of the European integration process, and how it was shaped by national elites – the Hungarian being one of them.The project, held between April 2014 and March 2017, was financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund .