López-Bazo, E.
  • Year: 2021
    Does regional growth affect public attitudes towards the European Union? The Annals of Regional Science, 66, 755–778
    DOI: 10.1007/s00168-020-01037-8


    This study analyses the impact of growth (in absolute and relative terms) of the European regions on the attitudes towards the European Union (EU) of their citizens. It does so in a period of socioeconomic turbulence caused by the financial and sovereign debt crises, the accession to the Union of countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the spread of anti-European rhetoric. In a first stage, regional indicators of support for and trust in the EU are calculated from the microdata of several Eurobarometer surveys. They confirm interesting changes in the regional distribution of citizens’ attitudes during the period analysed, which vary between the two indicators. In a second stage, these indicators are merged with data on regional growth to assess the impact of the latter on citizens’ perception of the EU. The results suggest that support for and trust in the EU are more widespread in regions with a dynamic economy. This positive impact of growth remains significant and sizeable after controlling for several economic characteristics of the region. However, the impact of regional growth on attitudes towards the EU is not the same in all regions. The effect of support and trust is more intense in regions with per capita income above the EU average.