Between hope and fear? Regional and social dividing lines in attitudes towards an EU minimum income scheme

Femke Roosma*, Wim van Oorschot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Previous studies have suggested that Europeans' support for introducing an EU minimum-income scheme would be determined by a hope-or-fear reasoning. Where Northern/Western Europeans may fear that their generous benefits are levelled out, Southern/Eastern Europeans may be critical of their country's welfare policies and therefore have hopes for a higher level of benefits and services coming from Europe. We tested this expected mediation effect in 18 EU member states. Results show that both performance evaluation of social benefits and expectations about EU interference predict support for an EU minimum-income scheme, following expected regional dividing lines. However, against theoretical expectations, there has been no substantial mediation effect. Where support for an EU minimum income scheme is based mostly on social dividing lines, expectations of the EU are related more to contextual differences. Citizens from countries that are net-receivers of the EU have higher hopes that EU interference will lead to higher benefits and services.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Social Welfare
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021


  • European Union
  • social policy
  • EU minimum-income scheme
  • welfare state
  • public opinion
  • social Europe

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