chapter  2
18 Pages

The mood in Europe: opinions on democracy, trust, migrants and life satisfaction

ByJeroen Boelhouwer

In this chapter, the author gives an overall impression of the mood in Europe based on opinions and attitudes, and examines differences and correspondences across the 15 European countries which took part in the most recent round of the European Social Survey. The trend in trust differs depending on institution, ranging from very variable figures for trust in politicians and politics to reasonably stable figures for trust in constitutional democracy. Political trust is especially low in the Central and Eastern European countries, but citizens of France and Ireland also have relatively little trust in politics. Trust is also not high in the Netherlands, but neither is it low compared with other countries. The author describes how Europeans view democracy and migrants, how much trust they have in number of institutions and in other people and how satisfied they are with the lives they lead. This picture is based on seven different indicators on which information was collected in 15 countries.