Trust in the National Government and in the European Union During COVID-19: Can Strictness of Lockdown Measures and COVID-19 Cases Explain the Differences in Trust in the Two Political Institutions Between European Countries?
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This study focusses on the effect of strictness of lockdown measures and reported COVID-19 cases in a country on trust in the national government and in the European Union (EU) within the 27 EU member states. Studies show that the public show their support to political institutions when they are satisfied with the legislations during the pandemic. Therefore, it is expected that the stricter the lockdown measures, the higher the trust in both the national government and in the EU. Furthermore, as a result of unsatisfaction by the public, higher reported COVID-19 cases is expected to lower the trust in both political institutions. A multiple linear regression is performed to test the effect of the determinants on both trust in the national government and in the EU. The results show a positive effect of strictness of trust in the national government as well as in the EU, as was expected. However, there is only a negative effect found for the effect of COVID-19 cases on trust in the national government. There is no effect found of COVID-19 cases on trust in the EU. This means that stricter lockdown measures in a country lead to higher reported trust in both political institutions. However, higher reported COVID-19 cases only lead to lower trust in the national government.