This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Benczes, I., & Szent-Iványi, B. (2016). Rising hopes in the European economy amidst global uncertainties. Journal of Common Market Studies, 54(S1), 167–184, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/jcms.12413. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.