Many people believe that the European Union is in dire straits. Some are even calling it an existential crisis that could result in the implosion and disintegration of the Union. The fear for the survival of the EU is of course prompted by the multiple crisis that the EU has been confronted with over the past few years (the financial-economic crisis, the migration crisis, instability around the EU and relations with Russia and Turkey). This multiple crisis has placed a huge strain on the bonds between the member states and has shown that unity and solidarity between the EU countries are fragile.
But according to some, the acuteness and seriousness of this crisis is mainly due to the lack of confidence in the EU inside member states, which has become manifested itself the past few years as Euroscepticism and a feeling of unease about the EU in parts of the population. This mistrust is partly fuelled by dissatisfaction with the way people’s own national political and social orders are functioning.
The question that this thematic study is focusing upon is whether there really is a crisis of confidence in the integration project and how deep and widespread is the feeling of mistrust?