Segmentation of Public Perceptions on Romania's Accession to the EU
Operant Subjectivity , Volume 29 - Issue 1/2 p. 1- 26
European Union (EU) enlargement and integration generated intense debate almost immediately following the first wave of discussion on expansion. Now that the EU border has reached the line of the former Soviet states, the topic is less hypothetical and more significant than ever, especially because the entire EU project's success seems to depend heavily on favorable public opinion. In Romania most of the quantitative measures of public opinion on European issues, like those of the Eurobarometer series, have been run since the beginning of the '90s. Yet, a study concerned with measuring the individual, subjective opinions about EU accession, as well as the formation of these opinions, was still much needed. Q methodology is highly suitable for such an endeavor. As a consequence, concourse statements about EU enlargement and integration were gathered after qualitative discussions with individuals. A Q deck of 46 statements was generated and administered to a sample of 170 individuals. Five factors emerged in the analysis, covering rather surprising and often bleak attitudinal structures. Some of those perceptions were identified as being part as a deeper cultural heritage rooted in Romania's recent history. Some others should be attributed to an often wrong and incoherent framing of the issues by the media and politicians.