Does EU regional policy increase parties' support for European integration? | Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung

Martin Gross, Marc Debus
Does EU regional policy increase parties' support for European integration?

West European Politics, 2018: 41, issue 3, pp. 594-614
ISSN: 0140-2382 (print); 1743-9655 (online)

How does EU funding to European regions affect sub-national parties’ support for European integration? This paper aims at analysing whether the EU regional development programme contributes to setting up support for EU institutions and European integration and thus strengthens the whole ‘European idea’ among political parties. To answer this research question, we analyse election manifestos of parties acting on the regional level in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK for two EU programming periods: 2007─13 and 2014─20. The results show that sub-national parties are more supportive on European integration if regions receive more EU funding and if the parties represent regions that are dependent on EU funding.