Trust in the EU and Governing Without Consensus
This chapter examines trust in the European Union. The chapter firstly sets out some the some of the key historical developments to which public opinion has been sensitive, arguing that long-term scepticism of EU institutions pre-dated the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties and was beginning to emerge as Helmut Kohl became Chancellor. The scepticism is not wholesale, however, but is more targeted on its political institutions. Institutional evolution and processes of political and economic harmonisation reinforced that scepticism. Multivariate modelling reveals that low trust in the EU bears the imprint of social structure. In contrast to the findings of previous chapters, age and gender have important effects and reduce trust. This contributes to explaining why trust in the EU has been enduringly low. Given elite commitments to integration, the findings present a formidable challenge to the German government—the challenge of governing without consensus.