Conditioned solidarity: EU citizens’ attitudes towards economic and social austerities for crisis countries receiving financial aid
During the European debt crisis, there has been a massive political debate between the EU institutions and the governments of crisis countries on the kind of austerity measures these countries have to accept in order to receive financial assistance from rescue funds established by EU and IMF. Based on a Weberian approach regarding solidarity as an act of mutual help, we interpret austerity measures as particular conditions of solidarity Alter has to agree to in order to receive assistance from Ego. In this paper, we ask to what extent citizens of EU countries agree on the notion of conditioned solidarity, and to which extent they are divided by socio-structural or cultural conflict lines, or by country particularities. Using unique data from the 2016 13 country ‘Transnational European Solidarity Survey’, findings show that the majority of respondents reject the idea of conditionality. Logistic regressions reveal rather weak attitudinal differences between respondents at the individual level, while at the country level respondents from countries with growing unemployment, higher unemployment rates, government debt, and poverty rates are in tendency more likely to reject the measures. We conclude that paying attention to the idea of conditionality is an important aspect of assistance measures in the future, if political actors look to avoid a lack of legitimacy among European citizens.
Lengfeld, Holger und Florian K. Kley. 2021. Conditioned solidarity: EU citizens’ attitudes towards economic and social austerities for crisis countries receiving financial aid. In: Acta Politica 56, Nr. 2: 330–350. doi: 10/gnp7cv.