Is this crisis different? Attitudes towards EU fiscal transfers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic

Markus Haverland, Reinout van der Veer, Michal Onderco*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To mitigate the enormous and asymmetric economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EU has adopted an unprecedented €750 billion fiscal transfer programme, financed by joint member state liabilities. The highly contested decision pitted ‘frugal’ northern member states against ‘profligate’ southern member states. However, do citizens from northern countries view EU transfers as unfavourably as their governmental positions suggest? This article focuses on the crucial case of the Netherlands, whose government has become the assertive leader of the ‘frugal’ coalition. We test COVID-19 specific explanations based on a large-scale survey conducted at the height of the pandemic. Our analysis suggests that citizens who experience the non-material health and social effects of the pandemic more directly are more supportive of fiscal transfers than those to whom the pandemic is more abstract, whereas those who experience negative financial effects and those who believe that COVID-19 is a conspiracy are less supportive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)680-699
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Union Politics
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.

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