University of Twente Student Theses


The effects of the Romanian citizens' perception of democratic deficiency on their turnout at the European parliamentary elections

Varlam, V.M. (2021) The effects of the Romanian citizens' perception of democratic deficiency on their turnout at the European parliamentary elections.

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Abstract:This thesis attempts to link voter perception with election turnout, to determine whether it is possible for the former to influence the latter. More specifically, its aim is to answer the following question: What Are the Effects of the Romanian Citizens’ Perception of Democratic Deficiency in the European Parliament on Their Turnout at the Parliamentary Elections between 2007 and 2019? Democratic deficiency will be understood as the absence of three important democratic factors: legitimacy, accountability and representation. To determine whether Romanians perceive the European Parliament as democratically deficient, the analysis employs Eurobarometer survey data, as well as European Election Study figures, focusing on the questions which relate to the aforementioned factors. The following analysis finds that, while citizens have held a generally positive image of the European Parliament in regard to its democratic credentials, the number of people holding this perception has slowly been going down over the years. Afterwards, the study introduces the Romanian case, going over the citizens’ turnout at the European Parliamentary elections between 2007 and 2019. The turnout pattern found is then linked to the Romanian citizens’ answers to the surveys, which constituted their perceptions of democratic deficiency in the European Parliament. This link shows that those who hold a more positive perception toward the European Parliament are more likely to vote than those who do not. In addition, the thesis finds that certain factors have played a more important role in shaping the perception of the citizens, motivating their choice to vote differently, depending on the year. Finally, the study discusses the Romanian’s fight against democratic deficiency in their own country. It argues that this conflict was the main reason for shaping the Romanians’ perception of the European Parliament throughout the years, influencing their choice to vote in the elections.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 89 political science
Programme:European Studies MSc (69303)
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