PodemosSupport for mainstream political parties is slumping across Europe. In recent elections in Portugal, anti-austerity political parties of all stripes – socialists, radical leftists and Communists – won over 50% of the vote, triggering a political crisis as the country’s president passed them over to offer the premiership to the centre-right incumbent, Passos Coelho. In the UK, the unlikely victory of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party represents a resounding rejection of the orthodox political order, while the motorcycle-riding radical Alexis Tsipras recently cemented his position as Prime Minister of Greece in a second general election in less than nine months.

Since the economic crisis in 2007-2008, trust in the EU, national governments and national legislatives alike has plummeted to record lows (although the latest figures from Eurobarometer suggest that trust in the EU has rebounded slightly to 40%, with trust in national governments still mired at around 30%).


We had a comment sent in from Catherine, who says she doesn’t trust politics because it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the policies always seem to stay the same. Increasingly, it feels like decisions about public spending and debt in particular are being insulated from the democratic process at an international or constitutional level. Is Catherine right to feel so despondent?

To get a response, we recently spoke to Jordi Vaquer, regional director for Europe at the Open Society Foundations and a co-director of the Open Society Initiative for Europe. We asked him generally why he thought people were losing trust in politics, and more specifically what he would say to Catherine. Interestingly, he felt that citizens have many legitimate reasons not to trust politics, given what has happened over the last few decades:

To get another perspective, we also spoke to Carne Ross, the founder and director of Independent Diplomat, a non-profit diplomatic advisory group. Ross argued that the principle cause of distrust in politics was likely to be the process of globalization, which has moved agency and power over our affairs to others; not just to our national governments, but to supranational bodies and financial markets:

Finally, we spoke to Nick Perks, Trust Secretary of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust. Why did he think people were losing trust in politics?

Nick PerksI think there are probably different reasons for that. I think we’re becoming more suspicious of authority generally. I think if you were 100 years ago, or 500 years ago, we lived in very hierarchical societies where decision-makers, whether that was politics or in the church, had a lot of power and people didn’t tend to question authority. And I think in the modern era we tend to question authority, and so I think that’s one of the driving factors.

Then there have been examples of poor behaviour by politicians and decision-makers. And, I think there’s also something of a cycle of distrust; the media tends to run stories about politicians when they’re not behaving well, and it makes it more difficult to build a positive relationship between ordinary people and decision-makers.

And what would he say to Catherine, who believes the policies stay the same no matter who is voted into power? In Greece, for example, does it matter if a left-wing or a right-wing government is elected?

Nick PerksI think the situation is a little bit more complicated. So, firstly, in recent times we’ve seen that it is possible for a wide range of different parties and political movements to gain traction. Some of those parties may be ones you like, and some might be ones you don’t like, but politics can change. And I also think that governments only have a certain amount of power, but they do have power.

So, even in Greece there are choices to made, and even if there are maybe only limited choices around what Greece can do in relation to the debt picture and macroeconomic picture, there are lots of other things that governments are delivering on. And I think it is important to pick the representatives who you feel are closest to your beliefs and the way you want your society to be run.

Why are people losing trust in politics? Are there legitimate reasons for citizens not to trust mainstream politics? Does it matter who you vote for? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

175 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Peter Harvey

    Why are people losing trust in Podemos? The party now has half the support it had a year ago!

    • avatar

      Podemos has actually dropped more like 65% in only 9 months…
      From 31% in February to 10-11% now in October.
      Over promising, under delivering and a dictatorial management style by Pablo Iglesias, ignoring grassroots main reasons…

  2. avatar
    Laszló Schilling

    Yes, we’re loosing our trust because most of them are: Professional Manipulators! They are afraid to do what they are promissing to us: to the workingclass peoples and they forget toooo quickly WHAT they promissing! They’re afraid to meet people and confrontrate with Open Critics, and trying to learn, to develope theirs “dialog convetsation” with the citizens who are paying ALL these taxes! And it’s TIME to propose that every EU Politician – get less salary with 40-60 0/0 and it’s well enough to have a “Good Life” standard. Át the moment it is toooo extraordonary costs theirs TOOO Luxury lifestyle…, and they are not able to set back a Secure Europe! They CAN not manage the econimics cost át ALL! Milliards of Euros are disapering without A Secure Controll! Today the Great Europe Parlament lookings more ás a Great Central Maffia – playing with the EU citizens Life +Healthcare+Econimics +Taxes…, and so on…, etc. Sorry, if I wrote too onestly my appoiment. By, and Good Luck for More Democracy +Peace+Wellfare!

  3. avatar
    Zoltan Kiss

    Because the EU don’t represent the people. They represent dirty money, bankers, and millions of undocumented migrants. Europeans don’t matter anymore. As long as this doesn’t change don’t be surprised to see confidence in an autocratic union fall. In this current state I hope the EU will dismantle. The EU should only be an economic collaboration as it used to be. But nobody asked for political union with such unelected leaders as Junker. Go Britain 2017!

  4. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    Because politicians are not representing the people who elect them. Neither are they proving to be capable of managing and governing. That is the simple answer.

  5. avatar

    Because politicians are not representing the people who elect them.
    Neither are they proving to be capable of managing and governing.
    That is the simple answer.

  6. avatar
    Victor Caballero

    Because nowadays there are two kind of people: politicians who only know to keep their privileges and to gain money; and people who only pay taxes for nothing, gain less money working much more, are stolen everyday, are manipulated, and so forth for the first group… so we are tired and sooner or later this has to change…. the first group says that people who complain are radicals.

  7. avatar
    Alex Bell

    We are losing trust because you end up making political decisions over decisions in favor of citizens. You want TTP, we say no, you still want TTP. You want refugees, we say no, you still want refugees. You want good relations with Saudis, we say no, you still continue to do so.

  8. avatar
    Stella Kontogianni

    We dont lose trust to politics, we lose trust to politicians. Human is. political being, politicians are mostly unreliable

  9. avatar
    Chema Carrasco

    Happens because Europe has stopped doing politics for Europeans favouring corporations. Has happened duringbthe crsis and is ending with the approval of TTIP

  10. avatar
    João Roque

    The thing is for example, my country (Portugal) is in a political turmoil and it’s trying to find a suitable government and the first thing we hear from the EU is present a budget or we will fine you. Who do they think they’re trying to press our political process with bureaucratics threats and this situations are what makes me, not loose faith, but get angry at the stupidity and lack of touch of the EU

    • avatar

      Portugal is framed. And I am Portuguese. Media was against Coelho.., all we hear in public mass media was criticism of Coelho. Now no more Coelho. Portugal is in a mess. Well deserved. I am Portuguese and all I heard for years was people criticizing the PM. Now we are Greece.

  11. avatar
    Paul X

    There is no trust in politicians because the majority of them have no experience of what it is like to live and struggle through life in the real world. Many have no experience apart from a few years at university, then they join a political party and get put into positions of power over things and people they are not competent to handle
    Their political “career” then takes them as far as they can go before their incompetence can no longer be ignored when they then take the leap onto the EU gravy train where they are even further removed from the electorate and can get away with doing even less for a lot more pay

    Anyone with a job in the real world will have experienced “lean” methodology where every step in a process is analysed to see what value it adds to the overall goal.If it is found to add no value then it is removed…I suggest a lean based review of every EU commissioner, politician, advisor, secretary, tea-boy and other cling-ons is carried out by an independent body and I guarantee the end result will be billions of euros saved for the European tax payers

  12. avatar
    Ion Ion

    Just a natural reaction to a prolonged austerity, restrain of national suzerainty, human rights and civil liberties. Nothing too fancy.

  13. avatar
    Jeremy Bornstein

    Because being ”open minded and progressive” means putting up with a self serving elite that rewards crony capitalism,attacks workers rights and pushing through extreme left wing cultural marxism. I want the EU,but a reformed one.Rewarding a failed financial system with unlimited bank bailouts,attacking workers rights, allowing unlimited immigrants from outside Schengen and destroying the family unit will only destroy Europe.

  14. avatar

    Because the EU is fundamentally undemocratic and its political leadership seems to always put the interests of the financial markets and banks first.

    Since 2008: bailouts for the rich paid for by austerity on the poor and middle class.

    And ignoring referendums, demanding they be ignored or re-run and recent political events in Greece and Portugal clearly underlining that many politicians do believe that democracy should never be allowed to block what the bankers want.

  15. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    WHY ? Because of corruption ! Lobbying is a billion-euro industry in Brussels. 30,000 lobbyists and counting ! EU is just fighting for interests of Arab Muslims because church has some big business with Saudis . People don’t trust governments and politicians on high positions talking like mad to cover the truth , do you know what has destroyed Roman Empire ? Corruption , refugees and Christianity . This is the reason people don’t care for politics , everything is mad : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_8kc19DL70

  16. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    WHY ? Because of corruption ! Lobbying is a billion-euro industry in Brussels. 30,000 lobbyists and counting ! EU is just fighting for interests of Arab Muslims because church has some big business with Saudis . People don’t trust governments and politicians on high positions talking like mad to cover the truth , do you know what has destroyed Roman Empire ? Corruption , refugees and Christianity . This is the reason people don’t care for politics , everything is mad : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_8kc19DL70

  17. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    This theme has been abundantly debated in the old Debate Europe forum. No one would listen. Thye closed the forum. Would it be worth going over all that again?

  18. avatar
    Calin Delavale

    I can speak about myself and I dislike Jean Claude Juncker wants to ease sanctions against Putin, the most visible dictator of this century until now.

    • avatar
      Eric banna

      The problem is ,most of us were never given any say in the matter ,those in charge were foisted upon us without any of us being given the chance to object,again .

  19. avatar
    Aris Papaevangeliou

    People are dying , banks get more money but we live a global economical crisis. Bad decisions lead to mistrust .

  20. avatar
    Lynda Germon

    We are not all happy neighbours … We need to go back to being independent in our own countries … Let each country deal with it’s own corruption !!! Putting it all in a melting pot is just to much for any one organization !!!

  21. avatar
    Davide Nicola

    Have you seen what is happening in Portugal?!?!?

    Then you will understand why people are losing trust in politics and in Europe

  22. avatar
    Dorothea Einhorn

    Have you seen what is happening in Europe, all the dead refugees, all the stupid politicians that are puppets of banks and industry? All the hypocricy of politicians concerning migrants? All the borders, police states, false democracy?

  23. avatar
    Ioanna Geor

    Because um they are all the same, they lie to citizens, they steal money from the nation, they have no understanding of people’s life conditions? because they beg multinational companies to invest ? Because all they do is discuss but never act should an important incident happen? Why I still wonder.. Why do we still have politics when people in it have no idea or motivation to do exactly that : politics?

  24. avatar
    Eduardo Branco

    Turning Left is not losing trust in the EU, if we must have austerity, then let the big Companies and the filthy rich pay for it! I have 39 years, I have a college degree, I earn less than 600/month and I pay a 450€ rent for “my” house. Are you fucking crazy?!!!

  25. avatar
    catherine benning

    Here are a couple of reasons people are, or, already have, lost trust in politics, politiicans and Europe as a united force. Starvation of our people and cruelty toward the disabled and vulnerable should be a wake up call to every single one of us. Why has the European culture taken on a third world attitude to its fellow man?


    Then of course there is the mugging of every single citizen throught their taxes and a naive belief in those they voted for. Remember Tsipras!


    The politicians in Portugal have refused to give the newly elected anti austerity left party office, ‘wait for it,’ because the markets won’t like it. First Greece now Portugal, Ireland and on a on. The threats to democracy of our Parliaments is in our faces what more do these creeps plan for our future, whilst believing we are blind to their agenda?


    • avatar
      Paul X

      Agreed, the situation in Portugal is the real truth of how little democracy there is in the EU and particularly the Euro zone and everyone should be very worried. The Telegraph reporter sums it up very well in his statement
      “Democracy must take second place to the higher imperative of euro rules and membership.”
      This situation alone needs to be the subject of a topic on this forum, and then DE should take the question direct to Juncker himself and have him explain exactly where democracy has gone….. but I wouldn’t hold my breath on getting an honest reply

      Clearly the greater good of the EU if far more important than the wishes of the people….. but god forbid anyone mentions the “C” word

  26. avatar

    Politicians lie on a regular basis, these people cannot be trusted, Political parties drive this.

  27. avatar
    Marco Peel

    Scepticism is fundamental to a functioning democracy. The problem is not that people don’t trust politicians, but that they still vote for them. Until we take responsibility for our own future, we effectively hand over the EU to the highest bidders – without obtaining anything in return.

  28. avatar
    EU reform- proactive

    Q: Are there legitimate reasons for citizens not to trust mainstream politics?
    A: Of course- many!

    One votes for a (shifty-ing) political party at home-most with an unsuitable political menu, none guarantees to challenge the EU in the EP rubber-stamping emporium seriously or present an inspiring option for an EU remix or final exit.

    All ones hears over the rivers and mountains of Europe is the dominating pc echo of Merkel this & Merkel that………!
    How overbearing, dictating, lecturing and trouncing everybody’s opinion- is that?

    Why does the German Bundestag not submit a vote of no confidence in their ruling party or Merkel- “the loved one”?

    “There are many issues where the Bundestag used to be the authority, but has ceded control, for instance to the European Parliament or the European Commission.” Who is really ruling & in charge in the EU28?

    On the lobbying issue it is clear that the German government protects big business & banks- not their folks:

    Are that not (enough), but just a few legitimate reasons to mistrust everybody earning a salary within the mainly EU political arena? Where are the real leaders?

  29. avatar
    Pier Dal Ri

    Because the modern europeans believe they should only get something from their government, they do not anymore know that they should build their life, a government is bareli a sistem of regulations, not a money printing facility.

  30. avatar
    Eric banna

    Because those in charge lie to us all the time.

  31. avatar
    Peter Inslovakia

    The politics act AGAINST their people – like the germans and “Frau MERKEL” ! All people from outside are welcome, but who cares about german people? ? Nobody! We are quit with the POLITICS . Frau MERKEL must GO ! But she does not. A good example for a non-existing-democrathy!

  32. avatar
    Calin Delavale

    Always fundamental principles are sacrificed to group interest and against people service without any debate it seems like an autistic structure.

  33. avatar
    Valentin Nebunescu

    Three actions:One government,one economic policy and ending economic discrimination of east Europeans citizens across the EU countries

  34. avatar
    Oli Lau

    less intereference in to people life. Anything you request from the government had to be taken from someone else.

  35. avatar
    catherine benning

    People lost trust in politics following the strong belief in a United Europe being the defender of our civilisation. Something we clung to since WW11.

    It really began with Thatcherism, which in truth was Reaganism, which in truth was Globalisation. All stemming from those behind the scenes that to this very day have these whimps squeezed in their hands as they betray their fellow man to this very minute.

    But, as I have believed for as long as I can remember, my countrymen will get at least one of these bastards, who murdered thousands for money. He should be facing ‘Judgement at Nuremberg’ with all the cronies who cried ‘I was only following orders.’

    Here he is. And Europe should be on their knees thanking the heavens they didn’t take him up as their President after all. And you know who we have to thank for that, the new Eastern States, that’s who. They stood strong under enormous pressure, just as they are today with out of uncontrol migration.


  36. avatar
    James Alexander

    “What’s the problem?

    Right now most of the money in our economies is created by banks. Banks create up to 97% of money, in the form of the numbers in your bank account, when they make loans. This means that they effectively decide a) how much money there is in the economy, and b) where that money goes. The control of the creation of money, in the hands of banks, has contributed to the problems of:

    unaffordable housing
    high unemployment
    high personal debt
    growing inequality
    high government debt
    financial crisis and economic instability”


  37. avatar
    Cosmin Sabo

    Everything works on trust so they better regained it fast. The speed of european economy is dependent on confidence. The way payments are made it can be related aswell to confidence. Each payment is given either because your work was trustworthy or you have the confidence that you can give it back. Trust economy is an interesting academical term in economics. The main problem in European politics is in the same time systemical and faulty-driven by politicians. The intense integration of new countries and new cultures to the european Bruxelles values triggers inevitable a backlash. 2steps ahead or three steps ahead on this political and economic grounds comes togheter with a step backward. Another issue will be that everyone in the market economy rejects planned economy because of the resemblance to communism. alltough consultancy firms are planning in advance so many things.:) Without planns you have suprise, without proper surveillance you will have crisis, with the dichotomy good-evil you will have conflict, but this rhetoric serves to so many plans and is so gladly accepted by everyone than i cannot forecast any real change. And in politics alot of competence is vanished and taking form of clans. The key for a better walfare is more consensus and cooperation after all, but for now the refuge crisis and greek bail-out triggered too much disagreements alltough action solves problems in reality not hesitation and skapegoating

  38. avatar
    Tsvetomir Grozdev

    You should listen to people and what they are saing! Also different countries has different coltures that should remain not be turned into one colture! The EU is simply corupted like USA. That should stop or one day people will judge you with citizen fors!!! The EU should not exist if its ruled by Washington. There is no use of that! The EU has disunited countries of the EU. Ilegal imigrants should not be let in EU withouth administration proces!!! They should be deported to mid. east or send to USA wich is the reason of imigration from mid. east to Europa!!!

  39. avatar
    Gelu Tatucci

    o duc si altii rau…..asa se pare…..dar nu ca noi….sa avem si noi intaietate la ceva……

  40. avatar
    Artur Marques

    With austerety lolol gota love the irony of this page … Greetings from portugal the 2 pooreste contry in Europe

  41. avatar
    Suzie Szabo Newbury

    Only have politicians who have had a career outside politics and by getting honest politicians, unfortunately they are very few and far between.

  42. avatar
    Naël Kolbert

    Perhaps the EU could try to stay true to its words on solidarity!! Solidarity was clearly lacking in the Eurozone when the crisis arrived! If it is a “Euro” crisis why did Eurobank leaders effectively bully Ireland into its tough austerity plan while other countries continue to grow and invest (with free education and free medical care for all, etc. where special needs children in Ireland suffer lack of ressources) because we were led into making the private Euro debt into public debt! Clearly one currency but many different markets!!! Xd lol

  43. avatar
    Enric Mestres Girbal

    It’s difficult to put any trust into this band of corrupt politicians that have destroyed Europe, economicaly and socialy, converting the Old Continent in a Land of Misery. (except for the corrupts themselves, of course).

  44. avatar
    Toni Muñiz

    How can we put trust back in politics? removing all actual politicians and elect representatives that will work for the citizens, not lobbies, bankers and big business. and espcially EU politicians, worst representatives ever. More like dictators pushing their own agenda, that is why Europeans approval is at an all time low. And you wait for the next survey, it will even be lower. Europeans are realizing these politicians are not looking out for our interests.

  45. avatar
    Laurinda Seabra

    replace all the corporation and bankers puppets with people that really care. reduce the salaries, benefits to “standard” rates, go for open democratic process via online referendums. Listen to people and environmental needs not corporations and elites, etcin the same line.

  46. avatar
    Tatjana Carmine

    When we will have more control over the political decisions on the European level. We chose the politicians and that’s it nobody asks as everything after that.

  47. avatar
    Chris Alexander Zervas


  48. avatar
    Paolo Viti

    It’s an old story because the European Community is representing only themselves especially in the last 15 years! It has transformed in an immensely faceless bureaucratic that is micromanaging everything and forcing each country with sanctions if it’s not doing the things they want! In this moment it is an incredibly expensive sistem that it is making the people more and more unsatisfied turning to open resentment! They deserve our resentment!

    • avatar

      Its more complicated than that. Countries like portugal and Italy always had problems. But they could not point the finger to an outside empire ( The European Union, Merkel ). Now they can. Now they can put the blame in the EU.., and they start believing that if they get independent again ” the good old times ” will get back. Besides there is the currency problem.In the past national governments could devaluate currency , and launch public works that would reduce unemployment. Now such devaluation is much more hard to achieve since the value of the euro is fixed. A single currency might not fit all. But the problem is not the empire itself.It might be ” a single currency for all.., “. But make no mistake: If EU implodes there will be lots of suffering also.

  49. avatar
    Francisco Fernando

    Another war will calm people down , I am sure. If EU desintegrates and people will start electing dictators ,as it did happen in the 30s, they will have less time to worry about crisis values.

  50. avatar
    Marek Kucak

    So simple. Hang them if they do wrong so they can now there are consequences to their acts.

  51. avatar
    Elisabete Silveira

    Vai ser difícil porque tem vindo a agravar-se e não o contrário. Os políticos perderam a vergonha. Senão vejamos o que se passa em Bruxelas. É simplesmente escandaloso. Não se vê os deputados de esquerda que tanto defendem os pobres e os injustiçados não vêm denunciar ou prescindir de tanta abundância.

  52. avatar
    Maria Diakoumi

    thats an easy one…hang em high all currents politicians even the honest ones(…there must be a cpl , as an exemption that justifies the rule) , that will cause such a feeling of fear in all future politicians that it will cause them to denounce the fattening of their pockets for keeping their necks…after 50 years just…repeat!

  53. avatar
    Marta Dinis

    Transparency / access to information / more connection between local governments to general public / high penalties for corruption … Lots to do!!!!

  54. avatar
    J M Perz Gnlz

    Easy. One person=One vote. None politics, not decisions taken by people who do not suffer those decissions. The representative model is obsolete. We can read newspapers from other countries in a second, we can buy things from another countries as a natural thing, and work from thousands kilometers of job office without a problem, and we can not vote for public decisions? Shame, this will only take time until every person will claim voting for every public decision that concerns itself.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ J M Perz Gnlz:

      I agree with you absolutely, one person one vote and on all matters brought by the electorate. It’s called ‘Direct Democracy’ and they live by it in Switzerland where it works well.

      It returns the power of government to the people. And it is the only democracy worth having.

  55. avatar
    catherine benning

    Now for all those still believing in the Capitalist system we presently have, here are some truisms.

    The first one to ask is, why did the banks have to raid the public purse when their system went arse up? They could have had what they expect all of us to have, INSURANCE. Why was it not a requirement prior to their gambling spree.

    Had they had insurance then that insurance company would have had to pay out, not the citizens of the world. Think about it. Why are the Greek people starving to pay back the banking gaming exploitation? When, had the banks or the IMF, World Bank, ECB, or any other organisation asking them to work to their death, taken out the kind of insurance they demand of us, which would have put it all to rights. Would it not?

    The players in this game of funds and hedge funds and all the complicated bull needed for them to take us to the cleaner must be forced into bankruptcy. Their assetts must be seized to cover the losses and the debt being serviced by the people must be cancelled.

    As I have written so many times before, it has been done and it worked like magic.


    And a more in depth look at what has happened with debt over the last 5,000 years. With like results and suffering through slavery.


  56. avatar
    João de Oliveira

    Currently the people running EU institutions do not like Democracy, and do whatever on their power to conditioning States and respective democratic governments … The latest one is threatening governments with debt execution and huge interest rates on that …

  57. avatar
    Summer Breeze

    All countries should take the Iceland approach…. There is just no other way around it, as politicians have grown to be dictators and think the money we pay in taxes are theirs to play with and pocket.

  58. avatar
    Marten van Harten

    When did people trust European institutions and political parties supporting them? Maybe as Nick Perks suggests, we should go back 100 or 500 years, when societies were not just more hierarchical, but totally shattered by wars, mass poverty, extreme injustice etc. There still is wisdom in the words of Robert Schuman, ‘As Europe did not come about, we have known war’ – the world wars that our (grand)parents and previous generations remembered. What we see now is not just lack of trust, but lack of memory and imagination. The same applies to European bureaucrats, policy makers and polticians, who fail to inspire trust and prefer to play upon public senitiments.
    At the other hand, why do so many people have trust, even blind trust in Europe? I mean, the millions of refugees who know about wars in the Middle East, and the prospective European citizins living in the shattered societies of former Soviet Union, to whom our countries look like Paradise.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Marten van Harten

      Yes, and isn’t it a disaster that all they want to do once they arrive is turn it into the hell holes they left behind. Which is why they are not refugees. They are not seeking refuge, they are economic migrants, wanting to transfer their hellish existance to us.

      Ghettos, children as young as five wearing and being allowed to wear in schools an offensive and symbolic head scarf to pass on to European girls they are trash if they show their hair or body. And on and on. All in an environment of equality for all. All except for girls and women that is.

  59. avatar
    Marten van Harten

    This seems to be a core question, as defined by many European politicians both right-wing and left-wing, Ideological differences are more and more blurring, division lines between and within political parties are about mass migration. But talking about trust in polticians, how reliable are they? I agree that we should take civil rights, including equal rights of men and women, as a basic criterium of European civil society. How serious are European parties, right-wing or left-wing, in that respect?

    Also here, a general lack of memory. This is not the first mass migration Europe has been dealing with, like the population movements of economic migrants and displaced persons after World War II. Many of these migrants were old-fashioned, civil rights of women were restricted in most European countries (lacking equal economic and social rights), but instead of transferring destruction, they left for building something new, More recent economic mass migration to Europe, including Muslims from poverty-ridden areas in Northern Africa, Southern Asia etc. greatly contributed to the prosperity of our European countries. Even in our worst suburbs, we see girls and women in Muslim communities, claiming their equal social and economic rights, including freedom of expression (which may or may not include symbolic scarfs).

    What seems different in the present mass migration, is the effect of globalized mass media, creating the illusion of being on the spot in the war zones, in the refugee camps, on the routes, etc. Sometimes it seems that there are as many journalists on the move as refugees, always showing the same images that the public expects to see. Can we trust these media? And – taking equal rights as a criterium – do they cover the stories of the many thousands of women and girls who are exactly trying to escape from the terrorist maffia’s who, using extremist Muslim slogans, are creating the hell holes? Seen from an out-of -the-box perspective, can these migrant women and girls trust European politicians and civil societies?

  60. avatar
    European Youth Forum

    The European Youth Forum, a platform representing youth organisations in Europe, conducted a research (http://bit.ly/1GeEEqT) on young people and democratic life in Europe. It shows that people are not losing trust in politics per se, but in formal political institutions such as political parties.

    Citizens do not feel represented by politicians because issues that matter to them are not addressed. Also, politicians do not always
    represent the age, ethnicity, or gender of those eligible to vote.

    Especially for young people, one obstacle for political participation is that they don’t feel informed enough about political process and how they can make a difference. This is why we are calling for increased citizenship education in European schools.

    As for funding, political parties rely more and more on corporate funding instead of investing in grassroots mobilisation for their campaigns. This calls into question rules concerning transparency in party and campaign funding.

    For more information, visit the website of our latest campaign on youth political participation on: http://www.youthup.eu/

    • avatar
      EU reform- proactive

      The past & present (political & religious) world was/is full of different youth organizations. No shortages! What was/is their impact & contributions?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_youth_organizations

      This EU sponsored “YOUTH UP” paper {of 184 pages of (probably) Eurostats figures} cannot deny it’s hidden hand. I must admit only having read until page 10: “Lower the voting at (to) 16 in all elections”! This remains very problematic- if not downright opportunistic & reckless- whatever the EU (youth) reasoning may be.
      Set as a previous “DE theme”- some time ago.

      “Youth” are persons who just left compulsory education, and searching for their first employment. In general, unemployment and the spiraling cost of setting up an independent home nowadays prolong their period of dependency on everything- aka- reducing valuable un-infringed, free spirited life experience, grown on their own compost!

      Further, “Youth” is defined as persons between 15-24 years by the UN. Individual countries differ. The African Youth Charter determines “youth” as every person between the ages of 15 and 35 years”. There- (like here) it only serves to train the next generation of obedient “cadres”!

      Well known is also that any party/body/religion wants to implant its genes into the next generation as early as possible to guarantee its continuity/survival. That makes the intend to declare children of 16 as political mature enough even more suspicious & downright wrong. Special gifted ones will always shine & think independently! Just one (bad) example:

      Where is your political, ethical, moral or economic critique or alternatives to the present EU concept?

  61. avatar
    Monique Goyens

    Our current regulatory frameworks are qualified by a close relationship between the regulators and those to be regulated. Regulatory capture in sensitive sectors such as finances and banking, food, pharmaceuticals, cars, has become more and more obvious over the last years.
    This does not mean that this permeability has increased, but rather that public interest organisations have grown more powerful to identify those instances and, thanks to social media, raise awareness of public opinion regarding this unacceptable links from a democratic perspective.

    Thanks to this growing public pressure, but often while dragging their feet, policy makers have introduced corrective measures : transparency registers, stakeholder consultations, multi-stakeholder expert groups, etc.
    However, too often these measures are either homeopathic (lobby registers are not mandatory, no sanctions are enforced in case of inaccurate entries or lack of registration), or just cosmetic (what is the added value of a multi-stakeholder expert group when one public interest organisation faces 30+ business stakeholders) as many measures only exist on paper, but are not enforced, due to lack of finances or threat of job losses. The overall trend is that of “better regulation”, translate “deregulation”… until a next scandal, be it food, finance, chemicals or cars.

    A genuinely policy system that is accountable to its citizens and that delivers a fair and sustainable market relies on clear and ambitious rules that are based on sound balance of interests of different parties. To this end, public interest representatives must be given more weight in the policy-informing process : while it is the elected representatives that need to steer policy processes, their information must be accurate and also include analysis made by non-business stakeholders. For this to happen realistically, there is a need to provide public interest organisations with the resources to provide this analysis.

    Only a system where there exists positive discrimination (starting with reimbursement of travel expenses for non business experts) and where sufficient funding exist for public interest expertise to be built up and maintained is a sustainable system.
    While in the short run, it can be more expensive, it will provide in the long term for a safer, resilient market place where disruption due to scandals will occur more rarely and where trust, not only in politics, but also in the markets, does not need to be restored as it is much more stable.

  62. avatar
    Francisco Valente Coelho

    Corruption, lack of transparency, jobs for the boys, private jets and hokers paid with tax payers money, influences, do you need more?

  63. avatar
    Julia Walker

    Because nothing will change whoever you vote for look at us in Greece…62% voted NO to more austerity….and what have we got? more austerity!! oh Varoufakis for primeminister some day though :)

  64. avatar
    Evangelos Koumentakos

    Because the money spend propaganda in the European smugs crested mote ignorance, thus populism. Wait until the next EU elections….

  65. avatar
    Filipe Duarte

    In an era with fast solutions, people want it fast too in economics and politics, so what better for that than populist & messianic views? They change nothing, but can feed you with the same bls over and over, and blame every failure on others, on markets, on capitalism (the same they wear, use and live – but hey, who cares about their ethics?). People seem to enjoy it better than facing reality, human failure and the usual disappointment that is living.

  66. avatar
    Oli Lau

    They promess too much to get elected and they can’t deliver. Europeans expect too much from those guys litteraly seen as santa claus.

  67. avatar
    Daniel Parvanov

    Cause politics are so focused of cradle of power, (protecting minorities (which do not need protections as even conservatives accept them as equals from years or even decades) and been politically correct even in face of danger to majority (failing to protect majority)) … that forget that actually majority elect them ….

  68. avatar

    Need to ask?
    Well, here are some examples:
    Too many promises and too few results.
    Too much taxpayer money spent and too few public benefits.
    Too much corruption and very few punishments.
    Too much self interest and too little public service.
    … and the list goes on.

  69. avatar

    and when we the people tell these hard headed politicians what is wrong and how we the people are hurting, they simply ignore everyone and keep doing the same nonsensical and destructive things.

  70. avatar
    J M Perz Gnlz

    I want politicians out of public life, out of making laws that punish me for doing nothing, out of selling my life to bankgsters and big corporations in the name of an endless profit, out of developing and spreading misery all over the world and their own countries and their own people, out of increasing a neverending sick wealth for minorities that even not need to be protected. I want to study, write, debate with my partners and sign my own laws. Representatives are in the highest form, obsoletes.

  71. avatar
    Lynda Germon

    Easy …because they are corrupt ! Actually that is one of the qualifications needed to be a politician !!!!

  72. avatar
    Elle Wilky

    For the UK’s Tory government –

    Too many lies, half-truths, and cover-ups.
    Too much corruption – The Tories selling off Britain’s assets to their rich friends for mere pennies.
    Too much feathering of the already rich’s nests, with taxpayers’ monies, whilst the sick and disabled are dying and or committing suicide because their rightful monies are being snatched away by underhand means – Atos, Maximus and Capita being paid bonuses to declare sick and disabled people as being ‘fit for work’.
    Too much propaganda in the media, who no longer do investigative journalism, instead they tow the line on what the Tories tell them to. Please don’t be fooled by the bbc, there is no more an establishment-run propaganda machine than them and what’s worse, we get to pay for it. Britain is living under a dictatorship, not a democracy, when the media is having to tow the party-line.

  73. avatar
    Rozalija Baricevic

    People, ordinary people, debate about the EU politics on daily basis. They write to politicians, call them, advice them, protest, tell them about problems; teach them, ask and demand. But no expected response, no quality actions wirh and for the people. Priorities are diametrically opposite of what people need. No trust in future, no trust to those who are, at least, morally responsible for millions of people, if not obliged to do their job properly because they are paid for it.

  74. avatar
    Ángel Alonso

    Because nowadays politics are strategies instead of thinking about real problems with people. They only think about power and getting votes in the next elections. It cannot work in that way.

  75. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    People are not losing trust in politicians, they have lost trust in politicians who have continually lied to them about the benefits of the antidemocratic EU.

  76. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    Simple ! Because of scam they use ti win elections .
    Angela opened borders to create right-wing in Germany just because they are together , Angela is right wing , they are the same church gang . Christians can’t win with CDU/CSU but they are going to win with right-wing and Germans don’t understand that . They just did it in Croatia , Christians could’t win elections but they created one other group under different name , a new political party called MOST . After elections they created “coalition” , they are the same church gang . Before elections a new gang(MOST) was against Christian “HDZ” but after elections only bu**sh*t . They destroyed democracy in Croatia , Afghela is going to do the same in Germany . Those Christian spiders are nothing but terrorists .

  77. avatar
    Mircea Stefan

    The politicians are liars and hypocrites! They promise everything before elections and after election do not do anything they promised! They do not represent the citizens, just special interests and their own interests!

  78. avatar
    Konstantinos Anst

    I would like to point an inaccuracy in the article: Tsipras is not riding any motorbike -I don’t think he is able of doing even that – that was Varoufakis :)

    But seriously, it is the process of globalization which has rendered national governments mostly decorative and people are not yet willing to accept that.

  79. avatar
    Ray de Bono

    Sadly, because all over Europe we have poor leadership and no vision #Malta #UnitedEurope

  80. avatar
    Matej Zaggy Zagorc

    because they do not represent the people. They represent corporations, banks and other financial interests.
    Edit: And they make decisions and actions based on that.

  81. avatar
    Marten van Harten

    Ordinary people don’t realize that when they post a letter, take an insurance, go to school or on holiday etc, numerous European treaties are put into force. Europe is basically a legal community on that level of everyday life and work. Now people are losing trust in politics at this level, maybe because it seems too complicated and technical, and instead trust extremist politicians, rightwing and leftwing, who play upon populist and nationalist emotions. To re-value our everyday legal community, we may learn some lessons from the refugees.

  82. avatar
    Costi Ciudin

    “Why are people losing trust in politics?” – wait, you mean a while ago they trusted politics?

  83. avatar
    Dobromir Panchev

    Because it looks like the politicians forgot that the main role of the country to guarantee good living to its population. Today’s economic theories applied by them make only 1% of the population wealthy and happy.

  84. avatar
    Claudio Bartoletti

    losing trust in politics and politicians ?? ask yourself why, reality is you dont need to ask because the answer is all too clear.

  85. avatar
    Jerry Gleeson

    The main stream parties of many European countries and the EU itself are strongly Neo-Conservative. Privatise national assets, resources and services, being a guiding strategy. Many of the politicians of Europe serve the 1% and it’s agenda. But, the times they are a changing.

  86. avatar
    Marta Nogueira

    They are not representing the
    interests of the people but other interests of big companies. We can see that with the recent oil and gas contrats in Portugal and also with the water that european comission wants to give to the companies

  87. avatar
    Γεώργιος Δανιηλίδης

    Because they are cheating to get elected and they forget everything right for citizens after election no matter of Party and programs.Typical example Greece where all parties have been elected to stop brutal catastrophic (fake) austerity and governed with relenteless brutallity and more austerity.It is the pattern in all EU countries.Politics are totally controlled by big interests outside democratic institutions and organizations.

  88. avatar
    Michaela Sauer

    just because, … Wohin treibt unsere Gesellschaft, wohin die Welt? Die einen meinen, mit der »Demokratie« die beste aller Möglichkeiten des Zusammenlebens gefunden zu haben, und ermahnen jene, die eine andere Ordnung wählten, zur Nachahmung. Notfalls zwingt man sie auch mit Waffengewalt dazu, ordentliche Demokraten zu werden. Das war, nimmt man die Nazidiktatur und deren Ende, in jenem konkreten Falle die einzig richtige Lösung, die Ultima ratio. In anderen Regionen der Welt aber und in der heutigen Zeit ist sie das nicht. Andere Völker, andere Sitten, sagt der Volksmund. Und bezogen auf das christlich-abendländische Demokratieverständnis bedeutet das auch: Die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika oder Europa sind nicht der Nabel der Welt, nach dem sich alle anderen zu richten haben. Arno Hecht untersucht in seinem Essay Möglichkeiten und Grenzen dessen, was wir unter »Demokratie« verstehen. Es ist ein Pläydoyer für die Notwenddigkeit, vom Geschwafel abzulassen und hierzulande wirklich Demokratie zu wagen. Nicht nur am Hindukusch … http://www.amazon.de/Future-Die-Demokratie-Hure-Macht/dp/3897931656/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_img_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=0SGGXD02A8Z6N7W18GN8

  89. avatar
    Julia Hadjikyriacou

    The reason people are losing trust is because they are finding out the truth. Nothing the politicians have done has changed, it is just that people are now becoming aware of what they have done and are doing. The greed factor of the mega-rich has increased so much that the harmful consequences to the people have increased sufficiently for them to notice. Now they know, they cannot unknow and now demand change, fairer wealth distribution, the abolishment of poverty and pro-people political decisions. People have realised politians serve the rich and not the majority of the people. Also the motorcycle-riding radical Alexis Tsipras is a radical in words and props not in actions. He is a traitor to the people and he is voted in because more than half the population doesn’t bother to vote as they see no-one on their side after being fooled the first-time.

  90. avatar


  91. avatar

    There is not difference today right back to the old days, its the same old tin just a different lable on it. Mps are very very very distrutful, we know they have put out false stories, made up evidence like children would wright a fantazy story for the teacher in the classroom. From wars in europe, to the twin towers, iraq, even in our own lands. What was the old saying put the truth right in front of the people as then it will blind them to what is really going on, its reverse thinking that is what modern mps or politicians are really like everyday. Just like banks – deceatful few in this world the quite owners of the central banks – ” control the banks and you get to control the people ” its as rotten to the core.

    But i remember one thing – just because you got the power – that don,t give you the right.

    Even the ex presidents both bush and senior both very deceatful people from kenedys to the iraq ware to the twin towers, i don,t believe it happend the way they said it did one bit, there is more than meets the eye.

    modern day leaders are highly corrupt and false, propaganda never died with the Nazi,s its till very much alive and well. Think about war is rampent, banks have gone over board in money – its sickness in the mind – an obsession to control you the people – they know you will for the most part most will go get a loan or think mmm thats interesting and then a little later on you start to see teh truth oh why your loosing you home or fianances are starting to fail, it was organised for that sole purpose.

    Remember what tony bliar said – it will be fine we should spend our way out of debt – biggest moron on the planet and president bushes puppet. Biggest liers that have walked to date, politicians shoudl always be challenged now and always in the future, always. And we should demand they bring evidence to the people and ie not evidence they have time to mould and shape so when they do present it, its like reading out of a book.

    i have no faith anymore in religon or goverments or leaders around the world, they are false and more like an example of Adolf Hitlers propaganda world of lies and false wording. Everyone right now feels it, its spoken more openly in the street now, thats what the goverments have been doing over the last 10 -20 years secretly stripping you of rights and you don,t realise they have been doing in it behind secret meetings and deals. I don,t see queens and kings as just that, they more like an average human with just fancy clothes and a piece of metal on there head but sporting kind response and carefully chosen words to get you to think the people, they really do care. No they don,t care if you live or die, they don,t. Anything the speak or inact in policy is done to be manipulated for there own selfish ways of life, i turn my bak on them with no loss of confidence what so ever.

    new world order is evil and wrong and it will fail, just like the killed kennedy we know for sure he was murdered for sure, because he was right and he was gonna bring goodness into the world because kennedy knew the us goverment had been infultrated in the ranks. And they killed him for it and his brother, its very very very very very very obvious he was murdered.

    The whole kennedy thing stinks of rats and evil people, and there some familes who are involved in that murder who are alive today, you know who you are. Walking around like your innocent.

    No i don,t and never will trust goverments again, and more and more people are turning the backs on goverments. If only you so called humans who call your selves politicians can,t even say that with a straight face, and not told lies and not manipulated people and there thoughts and life. Did you not think we could see what you were doing, even thow you really really believed we were taking in all that crap on peddle to the people every day. You really believed that you had control of the millions of good nice true honest people, that is what you manipulated honesty / truth / decentcy / what is right you invaded it and turned it inside out for the purpose of wrong doing, that is what you do. Your evil and worng and hope your thougths when you try to sleep haunt you every single day with the fact you knew what you wer doing was wrong and lies and still you did nothing.

    shamefull humans that is what politicians are they never tell truth because they don,t even give trueful answer its always side stepped or a carefully controlled answer that is how bad and deceatful you have become.

    shame on you politicans all around the world, you most evil people on the earth.

  92. avatar

    Unless there is massive political change in the EU there will be civil unrest , maybe even civil war , as professional politicians try to cling on to their jobs , privileges , pensions etc , and ignore the fact that they should represent voters not political parties . It is also very clear that politicians are refusing to uphold the rule of law across the EU , especially concerning unauthorised migration and corruption , and fir that they should be punished with long prison terms .
    The EU itself is no longer democratic and corrupt , with appointed leaders , excessive taxes as they lose billions each year , and decisions which are clearly there to favour big business and finance , not EU citizens .
    They will have to answer for the 50+ million citizens unemployed , and the 100+ million living in poverty , and who , if they revolt , will bring dowen the EU , the Euro , and probably the world financial system

  93. avatar

    European societies are in dire need of new solutions. But in order to inspire and lead Europe through these crises, leaders who could implement solutions need to have the legitimacy conferred by the trust of their citizens. The lack of civil society voices in policy debates has contributed to the crisis of faith in Europe’s political institutions—and fueled the perception that national governments and the European Union are not accountable to their citizens.

    • avatar

      The thing is I will speak what scares me is this. The USA Citizens are being mocked by our so called leaders. You know the people that took swore to uphold and protect The United States of Americas Constitution and Bill of Rights not to mention the Declaration of Independence. Yeah they got big words like transparency yet they want We the People to be “transparent” yet not them. Its a do as I say not as I do” So thats one of many reasons why I dont Trust these current elected” ha ha politicians they were chosen they in my opinion want an unaccountable “world” govt. What makes you think first of all I would ever want something like this where theworld health org. calls the shots and say some otherpandemic happens and they say you have to blah blah blah while wega ga ga and make billions off of death and suffering scaring you into submission. Please respect me and do not p e on my back and tell me its raining.

  94. avatar

    Porque no se pican la cola y leen el texto >:v

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