A Collapse in Trust in the EU ? Europeans' Attitudes towards Europe during the Great Recession
Revue de l'OFCE - Debates and Policies
19 - 26 p.
Great Recession, Europe
The period of the “Great Recession” since 2008 has led to a downward trend in many indicators of support for European integration. From the point of view of the trust that Europeans have towards Europe (an important dimension of diffuse support for the EU), we can even speak of a deep crisis of trust in the European Union action, as recorded since 2008 in the opinions of Europeans. In some countries (like Greece), we even recorded a collapse of confidence. The analysis of two Eurobarometer studies, one at the beginning of the crisis and another in 2011, shows that if the collapse is certainly there, and not only on indicators of diffuse support towards EU integration, Europeans do not impute responsibility for the crisis to the EU only: Europeans perceive the crisis and the role of Europe in the crisis through the prism of their national experiences, in particular confidence in their governments and the perception of the economic situation of their country. Moreover, the crisis of trust in the EU does not entail ipso facto a serious crisis of confidence in the euro: we do not observe for euro a comparable collapse to that observed in terms of overall trust in the EU. Among euro-zone countries, evolutions are slightly declining but not very significantly; it is in countries that are outside the euro-zone or those who are candidates to enter in that the lower support for the euro can be observed.