European Union citizen’s support for their national governments has plummeted since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the supranational bloc itself retains confidence.
This is evidenced by the results of a survey by Eurofound, the EU agency for improving living and working conditions, reports Reuters.
The survey found that citizens of 26 of the 27 EU countries have less confidence in their national governments than when the lockdowns caused by COVID-19 began in March last year. The exception is Denmark, where sentiment remained steady.
The study also found that confidence in the EU itself was generally higher than in national governments, even after sharp criticism of the European Commission over delays in the purchase and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
After increasing support last summer, when the European Union approved its multibillion-dollar recovery plan, confidence in the EU as an organization fell slightly in February and March from a year earlier.
Residents of Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, and Poland registered significantly less support for their governments than a year ago.
The results of the survey showed that Austria, whose government was first praised for fighting the pandemic, but then came under criticism for purchasing vaccines, suffered one of the largest drops in support over the past year.
Denmark and Finland were the countries with the most confidence in national governments.
The study confirmed the historical trend that Europeans have more confidence in the EU as an organization than in their national governments.
Citizens of France, Hungary, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and Spain said they trusted the EU more now than at the start of the pandemic, although support fell in Germany.