Trust in the European Union: What Is It and How Does It Matter?

  • Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt
  • Niklas Bremberg
  • Anna Michalski
  • Lars Oxelheim


Bakardijeva Engelbrekt, Bremberg, Michalski, and Oxelheim introduce the concept of trust in the European Union by pointing out its elusive character comprising both interpersonal relations and attitudes towards organizations and broad-based institutions in society. In the early days of integration, trust was primarily connected to the European security community. Then, trust was present mainly among political, economic, and bureaucratic elites while public confidence in European integration took a vaguer form. Today, trust in the EU is challenged by numerous developments, ranging from the deteriorating internal and external security situation and terrorism to rising populism and anti-establishment sentiments. Also, rapid change in the digitalization of society and changing conditions for socio-economic development play a decisive role in the evolution of trust in Europe.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt
    • 1
  • Niklas Bremberg
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anna Michalski
    • 2
  • Lars Oxelheim
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.The Swedish Institute of International AffairsStockholmSweden
  4. 4.University of AgderKristiansandNorway
  5. 5.Research Institute of Industrial EconomicsStockholmSweden

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