Researchers have found that while support for the euro is primarily value based, trust in the ECB depends predominantly on citizens’ satisfaction with the EU’s overall performance and citizens’ outlooks on the economy.
Authors find that support for the euro is primarily value based: it relates to feelings of European identity and support for the idea of European integration. Trust in the ECB, in contrast, depends predominantly on citizens’ satisfaction with the EU’s overall performance and citizens’ outlooks on the economy. This suggests that trust in the ECB may be slow to recover for as long as the memory of the crisis continues to impact citizens’ assessment of the EU’s performance.
They also find that assessments of specific EU crisis measures affect both dimensions of EMU: in particular, the EU’s perceived failure to protect citizens and achieve fair burden sharing in the crisis affects support for the euro, suggesting that the single currency is also associated with values of fairness and protection which many citizens saw as lacking in the EU’s handling of the crisis. In contrast, the comparatively stronger effect of the EU’s failure to hold the financial sector to account on ECB trust may indicate concerns about the ECB’s perceived closeness to the financial sector who many view as the main culprits of the financial crisis.
Overall, their findings suggest that value-based support has been critical during the crisis in ensuring continued public support for EMU despite perceptions of underperformance. More broadly, they reinforce the case that economic integration is more sustainable if it is based on a sense of stability, fairness and togetherness.
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