«Economic solidarity among the member states still seems to be a rather established principle, while EU policy intervention is instead, on average, a relatively more contested solution»
This question and the next two investigate respondents’ attitudes regarding the second REScEU divide, separating core and peripheral EU member states on the issues of cross-national financial assistance and fiscal discipline. The first question is whether the EU should include mechanisms of inter-state solidarity and, if so, what conditions should accompany them. Overall, 36% of respondents support the status quo—whereby financial assistance is provided under precise conditions—while 35% argue that the EU should have more inter-state solidarity. The status quo receives strong support (44%) among German respondents, whereas southern member states tend to be in favour of introducing more solidarity among EU members. The third option—solidarity on an entirely voluntary basis—comes third everywhere except Poland, where it is supported by a plurality of respondents.
Over 40% of respondents blame banks and other financial institutions for the EU’s economic troubles. This percentage is near 60% in Spain. In part, a north-south divide can be detected here too, with 33% of Germans blaming the crisis on highly indebted countries, while 30% of Italians point the finger at rich member states. Interestingly, in Sweden and the UK more than one out of four respondents blame EU institutions.
Nearly 56% of the entire sample of respondents are in favour of introducing Eurobonds, an instrument that could help member states in financial trouble by mutualizing part of their debt. There are, however, significant country differences, which mostly reflect the core-periphery divide: only 37% of respondents in Germany, and 42% in Sweden, are in favour of Eurobonds, while in Italy and Spain debt mutualization is supported by 72% and 78% of respondents respectively.
Photo Credits CC Wendy