Cees van der Eijk, Hermann Schmitt
Legitimacy and Electoral Abstention in European Parliament Elections

Pp. 208-224 in: Jacques Thomassen (Ed.): The Legitimacy of the European Union after Enlargement. 2009. Oxford: Oxford University Press

The chapter investigates whether low turnout in European Parliament elections can be shown to indicate a lack of legitimacy beliefs towards the European level of governance in the EU. Based on the 2004 European Election Study, the analysis shows that this is not the case. As has been shown for earlier EP elections, low levels of electoral participation of EU citizens was merely a function of a lack of interest in and relevance attributed to these elections.