Solidarity and trust in times of Covid-19
EUI RSC PP, 2021/11, European Governance and Politics Programme
GENSCHEL, Philipp, HEMERIJCK, Anton, NASR, Mohamed, RUSSO, Luís, Solidarity and trust in times of Covid-19, EUI RSC PP, 2021/11, European Governance and Politics Programme - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/73131
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
COVID-19 generated some of the most profound economic and social impacts in living memory. In response to this emergency, European leaders approved an unprecedented recovery package, stepping up fiscal solidarity by mobilising the political capital generated by high pandemic solidarity. One year on, COVID-19 became familiar and vaccination plans advanced in earnest; simultaneously, restrictions lingered and the EU’s leadership role is interrogated amidst the first appraisals of vaccination acquisition programmes and the recovery package implementation. How did one year of COVID-19 affect trust and solidarity in the EU? This report draws on new evidence collected by a survey fielded in April 2021 across 13 EU countries and the UK to assess it. Bad news first. While trust in other people and institutions did not collapse, it is still soberingly low and declining. People are generally less solidaristic in 2021 than in 2020. Debt and unemployment solidarity, already limited and controversial, receded even more, widening the gap between an austere North-West and a solidaristic South-East, a reminder that moral hazard concerns still bear heavily on EU solidarity. However, the general outlook remains quite positive: in the face of unequal hardship and mixed policy success, trust and solidarity remained stable, behaving more resiliently than assumed; support for restrictions and vaccination is still very high across all countries; support for solidarity in the event of exogenous shocks remains comfortably high, consonant to Europeans’ preference for an insurance-based, reciprocal solidarity and a protective and global model for Europe; predilection for solidarity to be channeled via EU instruments instead of bilateral agreements is remarkably high; and strong attachment to the EU persists, having even increased 4% in 2021, narrowing the room for unsolidaristic recalcitrance. The demonstration effect that Next Generation EU can have in the future of EU solidarity ultimately depends on how well beneficiaries implement the resources and how efficiently fears of moral hazard can be quelled by adequate communication.
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/73131
Series/Number: EUI RSC PP; 2021/11; European Governance and Politics Programme
Publisher: European University Institute