What Do Citizens Think About Redistribution and Aid Within the EU? Description and Highlights of a Pan-European Citizen Survey on Public Support for Cohesion Policy
This paper introduces the main findings and methodology of a new large-scale pan European survey capturing citizens’ support for EUs efforts to reduce inequality between richer and poorer regions in Europe, cohesion policy. Despite that cohesion policy currently constitutes the 2nd larges budget item of the European Union, we know surprisingly little on about the level of public support for such redistribution. This major data collection effort was aimed at enhancing our understanding of citizen knowledge, attitudes and experience with Cohesion policy, along with potential determinants – both original to the project and others drawn from the literature – that are associated with support (or lack thereof) for the policy. In all, 17,147 interviews were carried out in 15 EU member states, which represent 85% of the total EU28 population. The results contribute towards a better understanding of some of the factors that may ultimately determine the level of redistribution and inequality in Europe, such as identification with Europe, utilitarian (self-interest) factors, political party support, and perceptions of the quality of government and corruption at regional, country, and EU level.
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