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Citizens' Trust in the EU as a Political System

Chapter in book
Authors Linda Berg
Published in Trust in the European Union in Challenging Times. Interdisciplinary European Studies
Pages 65-90
ISBN 978-3-319-73856-7
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Place of publication Cham, Switzerland
Publication year 2018
Published at Centre for European Research (CERGU)
Department of Political Science
Pages 65-90
Language en
Keywords Trust, EU, attitudes, Political Institutions, Europe
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


Berg examines the level of trust between citizens and the political system of the European Union. The results point in two different directions: On the one hand, there is a relative stability over time in people’s general attitude towards the Union and the desirability of their country’s membership. On the other hand, trust in the European institutions has fallen sharply in the last decade. While a majority of European citizens remains well disposed to the Union, the confidence in the European institutions varies significantly between countries. Although feelings of affiliation with Europe remain important for trust in the EU, such sentiments cannot offset feelings of dissatisfaction any longer. In light of this, Berg urges member states to devote resources to deepen the public knowledge of the EU.

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