European attitudes
Euroscepticism, the economy and the future of the European project

Through its mission of improving analysis and debate on public policy and institutions, IPP aims to support a more open Portugal, in two ways: working for better, more open and transparent public governance and, on the other hand, making the debate more open to the world – and to the promotion of both individual freedom and social justice.

The ideal that shaped the development of the United States of America is, in that sense, a clear source of inspiration. Seeing as the US and the EU have been driving forces for globalization, the responses of their public opinions to current challenges will be important to determine how those societies, and the relationship between them, evolve in the future.

European attitudes is a project with the support of the Luso-American Development Foundation which, based on these elements shared by the values and missions of both the Foundation and IPP, will look at these issues from two distinct angles:

Lessons from the USA for European economic integration

Despite significant differences, the American experience is the richest source of historical inspiration for the process of European integration, regardless of whether its ultimate destination is a federal Europe or not. With these initiatives, we intend to disseminate in the Portuguese public sphere knowledge to be drawn from the American lessons for European economic integration, that can inform this important debate both at the national level and for Portugal’s intervention in European fora.


The starting point for this work is the essay by Jeffry Frieden, Lessons for the euro from early US monetary and financial history, published in the Bruegel Essay and Lecture Series (free download here). IPP will publish the Portuguese version of this essay here in the coming days.

In the Spring, IPP will publish a Policy Brief on this topic, that aims to develop on some comments to this work by Professor Frieden, building on the lessons learned from the rich American experience, and what they imply for how a debtor country such as Portugal should approach the European debate.

Afterwards, a debate in Lisbon with Professor Frieden will take place, hosted by the Luso-American Development Foundation.


Euroscepticism and the economy: what binds Europe’s crises?

These days, it is generally understood that political integration has lagged behind economic integration in Europe, thus diminishing the possible benefits of the latter. This situation has in turn reduced public enthusiasm and support for the European project and weakened – in the short term, eliminated – the possibility of deepening political integration. The rise of different – but similar in its anti-European stance – is seen, inter alia, as a symptom of such problems.

While Portugal has not seen such a surge in populism, public support for European integration, usually among the strongest in the EU, has fallen. Pro-Europe parties still enjoy a constitutional majority, but its base has never been narrower. Europe has been largely absent from the public debate, except in fiscal matters. The temptation for political actors to nationalize good news and blame “Brussels” for bad news has become more and more enticing.

This project will focus directly on the relationship between the decrease in public support for the European project and the evolution of some economic indicators, looking for trends and debunking some common misconceptions. Our goal is to contribute to both national and international debate on Euroscepticism, its causes and its consequences.


During 2017, IPP will publish 1 to 2 original works that review and compare the evolution of some political, demographic and economic indicators, looking for clues in the data.

In 2017 (3rd quarter) an international event on this topic will take place in Lisbon.


Marina Costa Lobo (coordinator)

Joana Vicente

Luís Teles Morais

Sofia Serra da Silva


The partnership between IPP and the Luso-American Development Foundation also includes the Campaign funding under a reformed voting system in Portugal project.