When a deep economic and financial crisis hit the European Union - a multilevel governance setting - what do its citizens think of how it deals with it? The idea of legitimacy has always been crucial for the existence of the EU, so how have citizens assessed its effectiveness in combatting the current crisis and what have they relied on to make these assessments? Are their assessments based on 'hard' utilitarian factors, 'soft' identity issues, national political motives, or levels of political sophistication? Despite the vast literature on EU support and political science's recent incorporation of the social psychology literature on blame, there exists little theory and evidence on how citizens have so far evaluated the EU's performance in tackling the crisis. Relying on multilevel analysis, and using both survey data at the individual level and economic indicators at the member-state level, this article tries to fill this gap.
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