Given their general assessment of the situation in their respective countries, it is hard to imagine that Europeans have any confidence at all in the society in which they live. Indeed, only 29% say that they do, with seniors tending to be more pessimistic than other generations.
Very few social institutions instil anything other than a lack of confidence. Politicians are by far the most stigmatised group. Just 11% of Europeans trust them, echoing the outcome of a number of elections that have seen “populist” opinion take over. The Danes and the Brits are the most moderate in this sense, with 26% and 21% of respondents expressing a positive view. Governments and even local elected representatives, who one might imagine would be spared somewhat, cannot escape this stinging criticism (24% and 27%). Once again, Denmark and the UK are the only countries in which they are deemed to be relatively trustworthy (38% and 42%, 41 % and 39 %, respectively).
« I think the main problem is down to political leaders who, one after the other, try to impose ideas that do not work. »
At the heart of this maelstrom, only the major international institutions come away with a degree of respectability, with 40% of respondents giving them a positive rating on average and slightly more in Denmark and the UK. In all these areas, France tends not to stray far from the European average.
When it comes to providing information and being a reflection of society, the old “institutions” suffer from a similar lack of popularity. Only 23% of Europeans trust journalists, 40% the internet and 31% social media.