Elites of Europe and the Europe of elites: a conclusion

Heinrich Best

in The Europe of Elites

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199602315
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738951 | DOI:

Series: IntUne

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This chapter presents a synopsis of the main results of the ‘Europe of Elites’. These strongly support the elitist character of European integration while challenging the idea of a coherent ‘Eurelite’: cognitive, emotive, and conative dimensions of elites’ Europeanness vary between countries and few elite members are prepared to award the EU the concept of statehood. Where the integrity of the state was endangered, where Protestantism prevails, and where the state has an important role in acquiring and redistributing EU subventions, political elites are reluctant to endorse further EU integration. While a strong responsiveness between elite sectors attunes national elites concerning European matters, large elites–masses gaps are found, particularly in the ‘conative’ dimension of Europeanness regarding future steps towards European integration. The concluding observation is that the ‘Europe of Elites’ is a multifarious and polycephalic entity, shaped by differentials within and between elite sectors, elites and non-elites, and––foremost––between national settings.

Keywords: Europeanness; federalism; intergovernmentalism; elite settings; institution building; Europeanization; functionalism; redistribution; Euroscepticism; international careers; labour markets; Protestantism; Catholicism; nationalism; agenda-setting; realpolitik

Chapter.  3258 words. 

Subjects: European Union ; Comparative Politics

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