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ECPR Virtual General Conference 2020

Can Trust Be Bought? Effect of the EU Subsidies Given to Municipalities on Trust to Local, National and European Authorities in the Czech Republic

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Political Economy
Petr Voda
Masaryk University
Petr Voda
Masaryk University

The proposed paper seeks to answer the question who benefits from the EU subsidies politically. Following literature on pork-barrel politics, one would expect that the EU as an organization providing money should be awarded by citizens who benefit from obtaining of subsidy. I examine one particular option of reward – trust. More precisely, I expect that people living in municipality, where some money from the EU were used to improve public sphere will have more positive view compared to people from municipalities without obtained subsidy what would be observable in a different level of trust towards the EU. However, more actors are involved in the process. Therefore, the obtained subsidy can affect also trust towards a) local council responsible for the project in which money is spent, b) regional council responsible for the selection of supported projects, c) national government responsible from obtaining of money from the EU. Trust is measured by the question in surveys. I use data from 20 surveys conducted in the period 2012-2018 in the Czech Republic, which includes information about municipality where the interview with respondent was conducted. Analysis is conducted on the case of the Czech Republic which is good case to analyze because country is eligible to obtain regional subsidies from the EU, and many small municipalities (6250) make more likely voters in municipality to know about subsidies.
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