Institutional Trust and Responsiveness in the EU

Mariano Torcal, Eduard Bonet and Marina Costa Lobo

in The Europeanization of National Polities?

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199602346
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739163 | DOI:

Series: IntUne

Institutional Trust and Responsiveness in the EU

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This chapter analyses Representation. It focuses on people’s evaluations of the EU Parliament and Commission and on the perceived responsiveness of European Union institutions. It is argued that as citizens become more acquainted with the EU, instrumental motivations acquire greater importance vis à vis affective heuristics in evaluating the mechanisms of political representation in the European Union. The chapter explores the roles that egocentric and socio-tropic evaluations, national political cues and political awareness exert on people’s trust in and perceptions of EU institutions. It concludes that trust and perceptions of institutional responsiveness depend primarily on affective support, instrumental sociotropic support, and evaluations of national institutions. However, the distinctive role that these three attitudes play in increasing or decreasing the level of EU institutional trust is conditioned by a series of macro-structural characteristics, including the quality of national governance, the balance of EU fiscal transfers and the level of EU politicization.

Keywords: political responsiveness; political awareness; national political cues; representation; trust; national governance; EU fiscal transfers; EU politicization

Chapter.  7236 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: European Union

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