Sub-national Quality of Government in EU Member States: Presenting the 2021 European Quality of Government Index and its relationship with Covid-19 indicators
The 2021 European Quality of Government Index (the EQI) is the largest survey ever undertaken to measure perceptions of quality of government, collecting the opinions of over 129,000 respondents in a total of 208 NUTS 1 and NUTS 2 regions in all EU 27 member states. This paper highlights some of its main results and compares the results with previous rounds of the survey. The survey is not only unique in size, it is also allows for new insights into the intricate link between government institutions, health policy and crisis management, since it has been conducted in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. In a time of important challenges, we find an overall increase in the perceived quality of government of European regions. However, the geography of QoG is slowly shifting, with many regions in Eastern Europe now surpassing regions in Southern Europe. We also see a drop in most regions in Poland and Hungary, whose response to the pandemic has involved important infringement of democratic rights and institutions. Such drops cause concern for future crises management and beyond. We find that regional level corruption is closely linked to the extent to which citizens’ worry about the effects of the pandemic.